Ukraine war: Sergei Surovikin ‘seen in first photo’ since Wagner mutiny

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A photo purporting to show Sergei Surovikin has been published on social media
By George Wright
BBC News

A photo posted online appears to show a Russian general who has not been seen in public since a mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group in June.

Sergei Surovikin is said to have been close to Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash last month.

There have been reports that Gen Surovikin is being investigated for possible complicity in the mutiny.

But a photo purporting to show Russia’s former commander in Ukraine has now been published on social media.

“General Sergei Surovikin is out. Alive, healthy, at home, with his family, in Moscow. Photo taken today,” well-known Russian media personality Ksenia Sobchak wrote in a caption on the picture on Telegram on Monday.

The BBC has not yet verified the authenticity of the photo, which shows a man wearing sunglasses walking arm in arm with a red-haired woman who resembles the general’s wife, Anna.

Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov separately wrote on Telegram: “General Surovikin is at home with his family. He is on leave and available to the defence ministry.”

Wagner’s mercenaries attempted a brief mutiny on 23 and 24 June, threatening to march on Moscow.

Prigozhin and nine others were killed in the crash near Moscow on 23 August, which led to frenzied speculation. The Wagner boss was described by many as a “dead man walking” after the failed mutiny.

Gen Surovikin had last been seen in public in a video during the mutiny urging the Wagner forces to call a halt to their action.

Watch: Obey Putin and return to base – Top Russian commander

Media reports days later said he had been arrested, but there has been no official confirmation of his whereabouts.

The general was put in charge of Russian forces in Ukraine in October but was removed three months later.

He gained a reputation for brutality during Russian operations in Syria, where he became known as “General Armageddon”.

The general, seen here with President Vladimir Putin, was put in charge of Russian forces in Ukraine in October but was removed three months later

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