Moscow, Russia (TEH) – Colonel General Valery Marchenkov, a prominent figure in the Russian military, has publicly dismissed rumors surrounding the disappearance of Deputy Commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin. In a recent interview with URA.RU, Marchenkov provided insights into Surovikin’s character and career, vehemently denying any connection to an alleged rebellion attempt by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner.
“No, and this has never happened,” Marchenkov stated firmly when questioned about Surovikin’s potential involvement in the rebellion.
Marchenkov’s defense of Surovikin is rooted in a long-standing relationship, having known him since 1988. He praised Surovikin as the most talented military leader and an “outstanding” person who fulfills “all the orders that come.”
The colonel general also referred to Surovikin’s actions during the August 1991 coup, where he was quickly released, and all charges were dropped after an investigation found that he acted in accordance with his oath. This led to Surovikin’s admission to the Frunze Military Academy, a move that Marchenkov noted was unusual given his prior arrest.
Marchenkov further highlighted Surovikin’s leadership during his command of the 42nd division in Chechnya, where he publicly promised retaliation against militants for every Russian soldier killed. “And he kept his word,” Marchenkov added.
The discussion also touched on the so-called “Surovikin line of defense” in Ukraine, which Marchenkov clarified as a strategic realignment rather than a defense. He explained that Surovikin’s approach to reducing the length of the front and redistributing personnel has led to consistent failures in the counteroffensive.
Rumors surrounding Surovikin’s disappearance have been circulating since the end of June, with Western media speculating about his arrest due to alleged alignment with Prigozhin during the rebellion. These claims were dismissed as “speculation and gossip” by Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the President of Russia.
Other officials, including Andrei Kartapolov, chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, have remained vague about Surovikin’s whereabouts, with some sources suggesting that he is on vacation in Rostov.
The situation remains shrouded in mystery, with the Ministry of Defense refraining from commenting on the disappearance of the Deputy Commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces. Marchenkov’s statements, however, provide a strong counter-narrative to the rumors and speculation, painting a picture of a loyal and principled military leader.
The unfolding story of Surovikin’s disappearance and the public defense by General Marchenkov adds another layer to the complex tapestry of Russian military and political dynamics. It underscores the importance of accurate information and the dangers of speculation in a climate where truth can often be elusive.