Veronika Surovikina, the daughter of Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Sergei Surovikin, has told Telegram channel Baza that no one arrested her father, adding that he is “all right.”
Surovikina claimed that “nothing happened to the Commander-in-Chief of the Airborne Forces,” emphasizing that he was not arrested, and further mentioning that “everybody is at their working places.” She added that the general “never appeared in mass media every day and did not make [regular] public statements.” The general's wife declined to comment on the rumors surrounding his arrest.
Surovikin’s arrest was reported by The Moscow Times on June 28, citing two unnamed sources close to Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The following day, the Financial Times also reported on the general’s arrest, citing three unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter. As noted by the newspaper, it “remains unclear” whether Surovikin “has been charged as a plotter in the uprising led by [Wagner PMC chief Yevgeny] Prigozhin on Saturday, or simply detained for interrogation.”
A report on Surovikin's apparent arrest was also published by Bloomberg. The publication's source claimed the general was in custody, but wasn't in prison or a pretrial detention facility:
“Sergei Surovikin was quizzed by military prosecutors over several days about his links to Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the matter is sensitive. The general is being kept in one place but isn’t in prison, the person said.”
Two sources close to Russia's General Staff and Federal Security Service (FSB) cited by independent investigative outlet Important Stories (IStories) denied that General Surovikin had been detained in connection with his involvement in the recent Wagner Group mutiny.
The sources denied his arrest and stated that the general is not currently held at Moscow's Lefortovo pretrial detention center. They clarified that Surovikin was indeed interrogated, but subsequently released.
On June 28, The New York Times, citing US officials familiar with intelligence reports, reported that Surovikin knew about Prigozhin's plans to rebel against Russia's military leadership in advance. US authorities are now trying to find out whether Surovikin had any involvement in the rebellion plan.
On Saturday, June 23, Prigozhin claimed that the Russian Defense Ministry carried out missile strikes on the Wagner PMC’s rear camps. He promised to respond to the strike, which, in his words, “resulted in the death of many soldiers,” and “to deal with those who destroy Russian soldiers.” Prigozhin’s forces then occupied Rostov-on-Don, a major city in southern Russia, and attempted to reach Moscow, stopping several hundreds of kilometers short after Prigozhin was allegedly offered a deal by Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus guaranteeing his personal safety and that of his soldiers. During the revolt, Surovikin appealed to the Wagner PMC mercenaries, advising them against escalating the internal political situation.