Russian General Sergey Surovikin, known for his close ties to the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny PrigozhinAccording to the RBC newspaper, he was fired as chief of the Aerospace Forces, a position he has held since 2017. “He is currently in the middle of a short holiday,” a source told the newspaper, after which a second source confirmed the Russian Defense Ministry’s decision.
Surovikin, 56, automatically ceased to be deputy commander of Russian forces operating in Ukraine as part of the military campaign that began in February 2022. The general took command of these troops in October last yearbut after ordering the withdrawal of the northern third of Ukraine’s Kherson region, he was replaced in January 2023 by Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov.
In the early months of the war he took part in the capture of the cities of Severodonetsk, the siege of the Azot factory and the capture of Lisichansk, all in the eastern Luhansk region.
Surovkin fell out of favor after the failed armed uprising led by Prigozhin. that he admitted at the time that he personally worked with the general to take the city of Bakhmut, which the mercenaries managed to do last May.
through criticism Gerasimov and the Secretary of Defense Sergei Shoigu, Prigozhin assured that his men under Surovikin’s leadership never had problems with the supply of equipment and ammunition, for which he repeatedly blamed the first two.
Since the Wagner uprising on June 23-24, Surovikin has disappeared from public view, although in mid-July one deputy, Andrei Kartapolov, assured: “He is resting.” was refuted by his own daughter.
Wagner’s mercenaries were then sent to their new base in Belarus, from where they resumed operations in Africa, Prigozhin confirmed the day before in his first video since the uprising.
In 2017-2019, except for a few months, Surovikin headed the Russian military contingent in Syria, for which he was personally awarded the Hero of Russia award by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He is known as “General Armageddon” for the brutality of his operations against cities like Aleppo, controlled by the opposition to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.