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According to a report from the RIA state news agency, Sergei Surovikin, also known as “General Armageddon,” has been removed from his position as head of the Russian air force.
This comes after he disappeared from public view during a mutiny led by the Wagner mercenary group against top army officials.
The mutiny, which took place from June 23-30, was seen as a potential trigger for civil war by President Vladimir Putin.
While Surovikin has not been publicly fired, an unnamed source cited by RIA stated that he has been relieved of his post, with Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov temporarily taking over as commander-in-chief of the Air Force.
The report did not provide any official confirmation, and Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.
Surovikin’s reported removal and the appointment of an acting successor suggest that the authorities found fault with his actions during the mutiny.
Some Western military experts have expressed concerns that his removal from battlefield operations could impact Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.
Surovikin, who earned the nickname “General Armageddon” for his tactics during Russia’s military intervention in Syria, was previously in charge of Russian military operations in Ukraine before that role was handed to General Valery Gerasimov.
Colonel-General Afzalov, who was previously deputy to Surovikin, has been chief of staff of the Aerospace Forces for at least four years, according to British military intelligence.
This article was updated 4 weeks ago