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Russia's 'General Armageddon' appears in photograph for first time since Wagner mutiny

Russian General Sergei Surovikin, seen here in December 2022, has appeared in a photograph for the first time since the Wagner Mercenary Group's failed mutiny against the Russian Ministry of Defense in June. File Photo by Gavriil Grigorov/EPA-EFE
Russian General Sergei Surovikin, seen here in December 2022, has appeared in a photograph for the first time since the Wagner Mercenary Group's failed mutiny against the Russian Ministry of Defense in June. File Photo by Gavriil Grigorov/EPA-EFE

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A photograph posted to social media appears to show Russian General Sergie Surovikin, who had not been seen in public since the Wagner Mercenary Group's failed mutiny against the Russian Ministry of Defense in June.

The photo, posted by Russian media personality Ksenia Sobchak, shows a man wearing sunglasses who resembles Surovikin standing next to a red-haired woman who resembles his wife Anna.

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"General Sergei Surovikin is out. Alive, healthy, at home, with his family, in Moscow," Sobchak wrote.

Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov also wrote on Telegram that "General Surovikin is at home with his family," NBC News, BBC and The New York Times said.

"He is on leave and available to the defense ministry," Venediktov said.

Surovikin, who briefly served as the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, was speculated to have been too close to the Wagner Mercenary Group, with some media reports suggesting he was a member of the organization.

Surovikin last appeared in June, in a video urging Wagner mercenaries to discontinue their mutiny. The nature of the video, which was filmed against a blank wall, led to speculation that it could have been filmed under coercive circumstances.

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Following the abortive mutiny, contradictory media reports emerged indicating that the general had been arrested. Despite the media reports, Surovikin's daughter denied he had been detained.

In August, Russian state-backed news reported that the general had been relieved of his post.

"The ex-commander in chief of the Aerospace Forces of Russia. Sergei Surovikin has been relieved of his post," RIA Novosti reported in August. The outlet said Surovikin was "on a short vacation," and had "transferred to another job."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov declined to comment on whether or not Surovikin was being investigated during a press briefing Tuesday.

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