Russian Official With Close Ties To Mutiny Leader Goes Missing

( – According to a June 29 report in The Guardian, Russia’s General Sergei Surovikin hasn’t been seen in public since June 24. US intelligence agencies pointed out Surovikin was one of the few Russian officials who had knowledge of the mutiny led by the Wagner mercenary group and its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Different reports have pointed out that Surovikin is one of Russia’s most powerful figures as he’s the head of the country’s aerospace and the former Moscow’s supreme commander.

As reported by the newspaper, his sudden disappearance has raised suspicion as it was known he and Prigozhin were close, with rumors suggesting Surovikin supported his mutiny. In fact, a New York Times June 28 report revealed not only that he knew about the coup but also that Russian investigators couldn’t determine if he was part of it or not.

In an interview with The Guardian, emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London Sir Lawrence Freedman said Surivikin shared one of Prigozhin’s main ideas. He said this was the “ineffectiveness” of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia’s Head of Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov. Freedman added that, depending on what Prigozhin wanted with his mutiny, Surovikin might have supported Wagner’s leader. 

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, US officials told the newspaper that one of Prigozhin’s main goals was to abduct Geramisov and Shoigu. It also pointed out that these officials didn’t know if Surovikin was helping Prigozhin and his private military group in their plot.

Freedman also told The Guardian it’s hard to think Surovikin didn’t play a role, as it was likely he was in Rostov at the moment Prigozhin took this city. He explained that the biggest evidence that supports this claim is the video published by Surovikin and General Vladimir Alexevev calling for unity. This footage was published less than 24 hours after they were seen with Prigozhin in the same room where the video was filmed.

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