General Sergey Surovikin has been removed from the position of the commander of Russia’s aerospace forces, RBC reports, citing sources.
The removal comes due to Surovikin’s getting “a new post”. Now, RBC writes that he is “on holiday”.
Earlier, Surovikin’s dismissal was reported by prominent Russian journalist Alexey Venediktov, who cited the Russian president’s order to confirm his claim. According to him, the general is still being kept in the Russian Defence Ministry. The order is yet to be officially published.
According to Ksenia Sobchak’s Telegram channel, Surovikin was removed back on 18 August by a classified order. His family currently has no contact with him.
IStories discovered that one number from Putin’s orders around that date is missing: he published an order No. 622 on 17 August and then one No. 624 on 18 August.
“If Sobchak’s information is true, Surovikin’s removal order could be hiding behind No. 623,” the journalists note.
The Rybar Telegram channel writes that the general was removed straight after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group coup, but the official order was issued only recently. Surovikin was first interrogated in Moscow, his whereabouts now are unknown.
Sergey Surovikin headed the Russian aerospace forces since October 2017. Between October 2022 and January 2023, he served as head of the Russian forces in Ukraine and was moved to the deputy position after that. Following the Wagner Group’s mutiny attempt, the general vanished. Media reports suggested that he had been detained.