Two high-ranking Russian military officers, Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Army General Sergei Surovikin, vanished from public view after the failed mutiny orchestrated by the Wagner Group.
General Gerasimov is a key player in Russia’s strategic operations who commands the invasion force in Ukraine. He is among the few privileged to hold a “nuclear briefcase,” according to a Fox News report.
Gerasimov has not been spotted since the insurrection attempt, the report added. The leader of the private military company Wagner Group mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, had demanded Gerasimov’s surrender.
General Surovikin, aka “General Armageddon”, has also not been publicly spotted since the aborted revolt, adding to the mystery. He was last seen appealing to Wagner Group’s chief, Yevgeny Prigozhing, to surrender,
A U.S. intelligence brief reportedly revealed Surovikin had advance knowledge of the uprising, leading many to question his potential involvement, The Guardian reported.
Surovikin was given overall command of the Ukraine campaign October 8 after a Ukranian counteroffensive regained large areas in the Kharkiv region.
The general ordered withdrawal from the the Dnipro River’s west bank, in the southern Kherson region, Reuters reported. Surovikin feared his forces being cut off by bombardment of the Antonivskyi bridge.
An estimated 30,000 Russians reportedly conducted an orderly retreat, destroying the bridge after returning the east bank of the river.
His unanticipated disappearance, and rumors of his arrest, sparked intrigue about a potential loyalty verification being conducted by Russia’s FSB security service, Reuters added.
In the midst of these unfolding events, the Kremlin appears to be downplaying the situation.
Rampant speculation suggests an internal purge within the Russian Armed Forces is being conducted. Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin is viewed as shoring up his defenses after the attempted putsch.
The full scope of these events is still emerging, but repercussions are undeniably significant. Russia’s international standing and the country’s stability remain under scrutiny as the world watches this story unfold.