INTELLIGENCE. The Surovikin affair, the Russian general who was a friend of Wagner


On September 11, it was stated in the social sphere that General Sergei Surovikin had been appointed head of the CIS coordination committee for air defense issues. EADaily reported this with reference to the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS. According to the publication, Surovikin’s choice for this position was approved unanimously. Information about his appointment was never officially confirmed. It was previously reported that the general’s name had disappeared from the list of commanders-in-chief of the armed forces on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Russian MP Viktor Zavarzin also noted that Surovikin was transferred to a CIS-related position.

On September 15, the general friend of the late Prighozin, loved by the soldiers at the front, Sergei Surovikin, appeared in Algeria, reported by Kommersant, citing a source close to the sphere of the Russian Chief of Military Staff. Photos of the general also appeared in the social sphere from the Abd al-Hamid Ben Badis mosque in Oran, and it appears that the general is part of a “high-level Russian delegation” on an official visit to Algeria. According to the newspaper, Surovikin is there with a delegation from the Ministry of Defense.

According to some, he will be the one to take over the African issue which was previously in the hands of Prighozin’s Wagner. Military sources in the social sphere associate Surovikin’s trip to Algeria with the fact that “the country’s political-military leadership attaches great importance to the eastern direction in the implementation of foreign policy.” General Andrei Gurulev, a member of the State Duma defense committee, said that it is too early to draw conclusions whether Sergei Surovikin will be able to realize himself in Africa “for the benefit of the Fatherland”. Meanwhile, he was seen in Algeria even if the photos of him do not show him in uniform.

Russian news analyst Yevgeny Yushchuk in the aftermath of the presidential decree seeing General Surovikin relieved of command of the Aerospace Forces, on August 22, wrote: “After almost two months of isolation (similar in appearance to an arrest, but not legally), General Surovikin was relieved by presidential decree from the post of commander of the VKS, but formally left in the army, without any position.” “This state of affairs is unusual for civilians, but it happens in the army it is said which ‘is at the disposal of the Minister of Defense.’ A person has a rank, he is a regular soldier, but he receives a small salary, because there is no position and the salary in the army is strongly linked to the position.”

According to the analyst, the removal was linked to the Wagner PMC mutiny which it ended definitively with the announcement of the death of leader Prighozin. Almost immediately after the advance of the Wagner columns, Surovikin spoke publicly, with a PP-2000 machine gun in his hand. In fact, he was the first to not be afraid to do so. Surovikin called on the rebels to stop the rebellion, return to the place and obey the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the President of Russia. Surovikin expressed the same theses that some time later the President of Russia expressed to the rebels. An almost complete coincidence.

There is a version that Surovikin could have learned about the rebellion and therefore ended up in solitary confinement. Surovikin not only “knew about the rebellion,” but he sent the information “upstairs” through several channels, two days before the rebellion. Even the head of the National Guard Zolotov said that “from above” they knew about the rebellion. He said directly that they knew, they knew the date range and he named the same one that Surovikin had warned about. The same was confirmed by the President of Belarus Lukashenko.​

Surovikin for Yushchuk has a position: “loyalty to the oath. This is how Captain Surovikin acted in 1991 and this is how Army General Surovikin acted in 2023.” Furthermore, he achieved many goals in the special operation: he stopped the collapse of the front after the breakthrough of the Ukrainian armed forces near Balakleya and Izyum in the Kharkiv region in the autumn of 2022; he saved 30 thousand paratroopers in Kherson from certain death, which threatened the exit of the Ukrainian armed forces into Crimea.

Yushchuk also writes: “After Ukraine destroyed the dam of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, what Surovikin stated was confirmed in practice, motivating the need to withdraw the units from the death trap: they would be left without supplies of ammunition and fuel for a couple of weeks, without removal of the wounded. It would be certain death, with no options.

Graziella Giangiulio e Antonio Albanese

Follow our updates on Geopolitical Gleanings – Spigolature geopolitiche: and on our blog The Gleanings of AGCNEWS – Le Spigolature di AGCNEWS: