Russia Appears to Have Detained Surovikin in Post-Mutiny Crackdown, U.S. Says

U.S. officers, citing early intelligence reviews, say that Russian authorities seem to have detained a prime normal below suspicion that he was concerned in or had information of the planning for the Wagner Group’s failed revolt.

The circumstances surrounding the standing of the final, Sergei Surovikin, are nonetheless very murky. U.S. officers cautioned that the reviews weren’t conclusive and mentioned they may not present additional particulars.

American officers wouldn’t say — or have no idea — if he was formally arrested or simply held for questioning.

Focus in Russia on the destiny of General Surovikin, the nation’s former prime commander in Ukraine, has been intense following a New York Times report that U.S. spy businesses consider that he knew forward of time in regards to the revolt, led by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, towards Russia’s army management.

A senior NATO-country diplomat mentioned that agency intelligence was missing, however that cautious feedback by Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov on Thursday in which he deflected questions on General Surovikin’s whereabouts appeared to affirm the final’s detention.

News of General Surovikin’s detention was earlier reported by The Financial Times.

There had been conflicting reviews in the Russian information media about General Surovikin’s destiny. Some pro-war bloggers on the favored Telegram social community reported this week that he had been arrested, whereas others mentioned that was not the case.

One standard account posted a recording of an interview with a lady it mentioned was General Surovikin’s daughter, who denied that her father had been arrested. “Nothing happened to him,” she mentioned. “He’s at his work location.” The account couldn’t be independently verified.

American intelligence businesses have been attempting to study extra in regards to the normal’s potential function in the revolt: whether or not he merely knew about it or helped plan the revolt, which has come to be seen as essentially the most dramatic risk to President Vladimir V. Putin in his 23 years in energy.

The query is a vital one for Mr. Putin as effectively.

For years, Mr. Putin has allowed completely different factions to exist contained in the Russian army. But after the short-lived mutiny, the Kremlin could also be extra probably to purge no less than among the senior officers who’re much less supportive of Sergei Ok. Shoigu, the protection minister.

Mr. Prigozhin had expressed rage towards Russian army management for months earlier than the revolt, concentrating most of his ire on Mr. Putin’s two senior army advisers: Mr. Shoigu and Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, the chief of the final workers.

American officers mentioned that Mr. Prigozhin’s failed revolt might, no less than in the meanwhile, have the perverse impact of strengthening Mr. Shoigu’s maintain on the highest job, since Mr. Putin wouldn’t need to be seen as caving to Mr. Prigozhin.

Some Western analysts mentioned the obvious detention of General Surovikin and uncertainty in regards to the destiny of different senior officers might damage Russian troop morale.

“That there has not been a clear signal from the top about these very senior generals’ standing after the Prigozhin mutiny can’t be good for morale,” mentioned Samuel Charap, a Russia analyst on the RAND Corporation.

“Surovikin in particular is known to be popular with the rank and file,” Mr. Charap mentioned. “If he has been arrested and there is no explanation from the top, one can imagine his subordinates might be preoccupied with their own safety not the war.”

Steven Erlanger and Anton Troianovski contributed reporting.

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