Putin has sacked Sergei Surovikin, AKA “General Armageddon”, as head of the Russian air force, following the failed coup carried out by Prigozhin, of whom he is alleged to be supportive.
Surovkin’s whereabouts are still unconfirmed, and he has not been sighted since the failed 23-24 June mutiny.
Once commander of Russia’s overall war effort in Ukraine before being replaced and put in charge of the air force, Surovikin has not been publicly fired but the news agency RIA cited an unnamed source stating the following:
“Ex-chief of the Russian Air and Space Forces Sergei Surovikin has now been relieved of his post, while Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov, head of the Main Staff of the Air Force, is temporarily acting as commander-in-chief of the Air Force”.
The Kremlin has neither confirmed nor denied the statement, but it is important to note that the RIA is controlled by the Russian state itself.
Surovikin’s last public appearance was on the final day of the mutiny attempt, on the 24th June, in a carefully staged video where upon he called for Prigozhin to abandon his mutiny. Notably, he was not wearing his insignia in the video.
Since the mutiny, which was ended through negotiations allegedly mediated by Belarus dictator Lukashenko, Russian news outlets said that Surovikin, who was often praised by Prigozhin in videos released shortly before the coup, was being investigated and had been placed under house arrest.
He was also notably absent during filmed meetings between Putin and his generals in the days that followed the coup.
It is currently unknown where the former general is, if he has been detained, or if he is indeed still alive.