Aug 22 (Reuters) – A senior Russian journalist said on Tuesday that General Sergei Surovikin, who at one point was the leader of Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine, has been removed from his post as commander of the country’s Aerospace Forces.
There was no official confirmation of the report by Alexei Venediktov, the former head of the now-defunct Ekho Moskvy radio station.
Venediktov said on his Telegram channel that Surovikin was dismissed by an official decree, without providing any further details.
RBC’s media outlets also reported later on Tuesday that Venediktov had been sacked, citing its own sources.
RBC said: “Army General Sergei Surovikin has been relieved of his post in connection with the transfer to another job and is at the disposal of (the Ministry of Defense).”
One of the newspaper’s sources said Sorovikin was “on a short-term leave at the moment”.
The general has not been seen in public since the short-lived revolt by the mercenary Wagner Group and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin against the Russian defense establishment in June.
During the revolution, Surovikin was shown on video urging Prigozhin to step down. Since the mutiny, Russian and foreign news reports have stated that Surovikin has been investigated for possible involvement in it.
Surovikin earned the nickname “General Armageddon” during Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.
In October he was put in charge of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, but in January that role was handed over to General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff, and Surovikin was appointed Gerasimov’s deputy.
Reporting by Mark Trevelyan. Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Porter
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