General Sergey Surovikin aka Russian Armageddon General (left) has reportedly been fired by President Vladimir Putin as Chief of the Air Force. Photo/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin via REUTERS
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed General Sergey Surovikin aka General Armageddon from his position as Chief of the Air Force.
The dismissal of General Surovikin was reported by Russian media, RBC, Wednesday (23/8/2023). Surovikin, who was deputy commander of Russia’s war in Ukraine, has disappeared from the public eye since the brief coup of June 23-24 by the Wagner Group mercenaries.
RBC reports that a source in the Ministry of Defense confirmed that Surovikin is no longer the Chief of the Air Force. “Currently he is on a short vacation,” said the source describing Surovikin’s condition.
However, an official decision regarding this decision has not yet been made public by the Russian military.
Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andrii Yusov said on July 18 that Surovikin had been removed from office but his fate was still undecided.
According to him, the dispute among the Russian elite began after the Wagner Group uprising, which caused Surovikin to lose his position.
After the Wagner Group coup was abruptly aborted in the middle of last June, it was revealed that General Surovikin was listed as a VIP member of the private military company.
Media reports claim that the general has been arrested for siding with Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin in the mutiny and is being questioned by Russian security services.
Moscow has not confirmed the claim. State Duma deputy Andrey Kartapolov only commented that Surovikin is currently “resting” and “unavailable so far.”
According to the British Ministry of Defence, Surovikin’s arrest is likely to cause tension among the Russian military leadership due to the general’s popularity in the armed forces.
The general commanded Russian forces in the Ukraine war from October 2022 until being succeeded by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov in January 2022.
Surovikin was dubbed by the Western media as General Armageddon because of his ruthless tactics in various Russian wars, including the wars in Syria and Ukraine.