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‘General Armageddon pictured alive’ after weeks of speculation following Wagner mutiny

Who is General Sergei Surovikin?

A military veteran who served in the Soviet Union’s ultimately doomed war with Afghanistan during the 1980s, General Surovikin is infamous for ordering troops to open fire on pro-democracy protesters in Moscow, when three people were killed during the final days of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He went on to lead Russian forces’ intervention during the Syrian War in 2017, where he is accused of complicity in the indiscriminate bombing of opposition fighters and of overseeing chemical weapons attacks, in a campaign thought to have been pivotal in helping Syria’s government regain control over most of the country.

Nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian press for his aggressive tactics in the Syrian conflict, Surovikin has been serving as deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.


The consensus among experts is that Vladimir Putin’s decision to have him take charge of Russia’s forces in Ukraine is a direct result of his reputation for ruthlessness and brutality.

Military analyst Forbes McKenzie, head of McKenzie Intelligence, told Sky News the main reason for his appointment was Surovikin’s “brand”.

“He’s seen as a hero of the former Soviet Republic,” he said last year.

“He has shown his ability to wage a war that involves nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, the last of which he used in Syria.


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