Surovikin Reportedly Spotted at Moscow Restaurant, First Public Appearance Since Wagner Mutiny

Surovikin Reportedly Spotted at Moscow Restaurant, First Public Appearance Since Wagner Mutiny


What to Know

General Sergey Surovikin has reportedly been spotted with his wife at a restaurant in Moscow, marking his first public appearance since June amid rumors of being on house arrest for involvement in the Wagner mutiny.

Geolocation of Surovikin

On Monday, Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak published a photo showing Surovikin out in public with his wife, stating that “General Sergei Surovikin is out. Alive, healthy, at home, with his family, in Moscow.” The online GEOINT community was quick to confirm that the photo was taken in Moscow at a restaurant called Terrazza, however, it remains unconfirmed if the photo was recent.

The Fate of Surovikin

The status of Surovikin had been the topic of debate for the past month and a half following the Wagner Mutiny, as he had not been seen publicly until now.

Surovikin was believed to have had a close relationship with Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin, as Surovikin commanded Russian forces in Syria in 2017. As the mutiny kicked off in late June 2023, Surovikin appeared in a Telegram video pleading with Prigozhin to stop his advance on Moscow, stating that “I appeal to the leadership, commanders and fighters of PMC Wagner: Together with you, we walked a difficult path. Together with you, we fought, we took risks, we took losses, but overcome together. We are of the same blood. We are warriors.”

“I call on you to stop… We shouldn’t play into the enemy’s hand in this difficult time for the country. Stop the columns, and return them to their permanent positions and places of concentration,” he added.

Within days, there were reports by independent Russian media and milbloggers that Surovikin had been arrested in connection to the mutiny. The reports came as the NYT, citing US officials, claimed that Surovikin had advanced knowledge of the mutiny and supported it.

By August 22, Russia announced that he was being replaced by Viktor Afzalov to command the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS). It would be the very next day that Prigozhin’s private business jet was downed over Tver, Russia, after it departed Moscow, killing him and his second in command Dmitry Utkin, as well as other Wagner command staff.

It became evident quite quickly that their aircraft was downed by an explosion, with Wagner-aligned media and local reports have suggest that anti-aircraft systems fired on the aircraft. Western intelligence, however, have suggested the aircraft may have been downed by an explosive device placed on or inside the aircraft.

His removal and the subsequent death of Prigozhin suggested that he was roped into the Wagner purge that was carried out under the guise of safety guarantees. The extent of his involvement, let alone support, of the Wagner mutiny still remains unknown, but his removal from leadership seemed to be the first step in killing Prigozhin. However, his apparent reemergence has raised further questions about his status amongst the continued Wagner fallout.

Why This Matters

It is safe to assume in any capacity that Surovikin’s military career is over. His alleged involvement in the Wagner mutiny, whether it had any weight or not, has clearly resulted in him being cut out of any future military involvement. This is important considering his superiors (i.e. Shoigu and Gerasimov) frequently butted heads with Prigozhin and could see his involvement as a direct betrayal. Russian state media has remained silent on Surovikin and have actively suppressed any mention of him in media, but one could speculate that he cut a deal with Russian authorities to lay low and be with his family under strict security. For Surovikin, slowly fading into obscurity is likely his best outcome, rather than dying in a plane crash.

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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