‘General Armageddon’ was arrested Sunday, the Moscow Times reported.

Neither of Russia’s most senior generals has been seen in public since a failed mercenary uprising rocked the country five days ago, as rumors swirled of military purges and arrests, and President Vladimir Putin moved to reassert his authority.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the armed forces chief of staff and keeper of one of the country’s “nuclear briefcases,” has been absent from state TV since Yevgeny Priozhin’s private Wagner Group army marched on Moscow Saturday demanding Gerasimov’s head. Gerasimov hasn’t been mentioned in defense ministry press release since June 9, Reuters reported.

Also missing is General Sergei Surovikin, aka “General Armageddon,” deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine. The New York Times reported yesterday that U.S. intelligence officials believe Surovikin knew of the Wagner uprising ahead of time. U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday that Surovikin supported Prigozhin, but it was unclear if he had aided the rebellion.

In January, Surovikin was demoted as leader of the Ukraine war effort and placed under Gerasimov. When the Wagner rebellion erupted, he recorded an audio statement imploring Wagner fighters to stay local to Moscow. He hasn’t been seen since.

On Wednesday, the Moscow Times, citing two sources close to the defense ministry, said that Surovikin, commander of Russia’s aerospace forces, had been arrested on Sunday. “They grabbed him by the balls,” one source told the news outlet.

The Financial Times, citing three sources, on Thursday said Surovikin was in custody, though it was unclear if he was being charged with aiding the rebellion or if he was simply being questioned.

Alexei Venediktov, a dissident former editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy radio, wrote on Telegram that “Surovikin has not been in touch with his family for three days. His guards are not responding either.”

Venediktov said Surovikin’s deputy, Colonel General Andrey Yudin, had been fired.

Military bloggers with large Russian followings reported that the FSB security service, and FOS, Russia’s internal presidential guard, were questioning senior officers throughout the military over their loyalty and performance during the uprising, the Institute for the Study of War reported.

Source: https://themessenger.com/news/russias-top-generals-missing-in-haze-of-rumored-purges-and-arrests

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