The detention of General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of the joint grouping of Russian troops in Ukraine, and the commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, has once again been reported by an independent media outlet. The publication Verstka, citing a source close to law enforcement agencies, wrote that the general has been detained by Russian counterintelligence, and is being questioned in connection with the armed rebellion launched by Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) on June 23.
Another one of Verstka’s sources claimed that Surovikin is currently in isolation and has not been in contact with his family for over two weeks.
“There are many ways to keep a person in isolation from society without charges – administrative arrest, initiation of another case (such as a corruption case) or simply without legal justification (like holding someone in a basement),” lawyer Evgeny Smirnov explained to the publication. “However, Surovikin is a rather high-ranking figure, and such people are usually treated in a special way. Such people can be verbally forbidden to leave the house and communicate [with the outside world].”
In turn, the head of the State Duma Committee on Defense Andrei Kartapolov said the following of Surovikin's current whereabouts: “He's resting at the moment. He’s not available.”
On June 28, The Moscow Times reported on Surovikin's detention, citing two sources close to Russia’s Defense Ministry. The next day, the report was confirmed by the Financial Times, citing three sources with knowledge of the matter.
On the night of June 24, when Prigozhin announced the mutiny, Surovikin recorded a short appeal to Wagner fighters to lay down their arms, after which he disappeared. On June 29, Bloomberg reported that “ Surovikin was quizzed by military prosecutors over several days about his links to Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.” According to the publication’s source, “the general is being kept in one place but isn’t in prison.”