Where are Russia’s top generals? Rumors swirl after mercenary mutiny
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Following a failed mercenary mutiny aimed at toppling Russia’s top brass, the country’s most senior generals have disappeared from public view, raising questions about their status and possible arrests.

Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s top general and commander of the war in Ukraine, has not been seen in public or mentioned in defense ministry press releases since the mutiny on June 24.

General Sergei Surovikin, known as “General Armageddon” for his aggressive tactics in Syria, is also absent. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Surovikin had prior knowledge of the mutiny, and authorities are investigating his involvement. The Kremlin downplayed these reports, stating that there is a lot of speculation and gossip.

Some sources, including the Russian-language version of the Moscow Times and a military blogger, have reported Surovikin’s arrest, while others claim that he and other senior officers are being questioned about their potential role in the mutiny. The situation remains unclear, and Reuters could not confirm whether Surovikin has been arrested.

According to Rybar, an influential channel on the Telegram messaging app, a purge is underway in the Russian Armed Forces, targeting military personnel who demonstrated “a lack of decisiveness” in suppressing the mutiny.

If confirmed, this purge could have implications for Russia’s war in Ukraine, causing disruptions within the ranks and potentially impacting the ongoing conflict.

While there has been no official comment from the defense ministry, some analysts believe that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, may actually be more secure in his position following the mutiny.

On the other hand, Viktor Zolotov, head of the National Guard and a former bodyguard of Putin, seems to have benefited from the situation, expressing readiness to defend Moscow from the mutiny and suggesting the acquisition of heavy weaponry for his forces.

Gerasimov’s absence during Putin’s recent address thanking the army for preventing a civil war, in contrast to Shoigu’s public appearances, is notable. Surovikin, Gerasimov’s deputy, appeared in a video appealing to the mutineers but looked exhausted, leaving doubts about the circumstances of his statement.

Unconfirmed reports and sources indicate that Surovikin may be held in Moscow’s Lefortovo detention facility after his arrest. Concerns have been raised about his well-being, as he has not been in contact with his family since the mutiny, and his bodyguards have also gone silent.

The mutiny’s instigator, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who had criticized Shoigu and Gerasimov for their alleged incompetence in the Ukraine war, has praised Surovikin and frequently targeted Shoigu and Gerasimov for removal.

However, the mutiny may have unintentionally secured the continued tenure of Shoigu and Gerasimov, despite their perceived incompetence and unpopularity within the armed forces.

Surovikin, who is highly respected for his experience in Chechnya and Syria, was seen by some as a potential future defense minister.

Source: With Agencies

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