Several Russian state-run media outlets reported the appointment last week, citing unnamed sources. Now TASS reports confirmation from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Colonel-General Viktor Avzalov has held this position on an interim basis since August, when “General Armageddon” – Sergei Surovikin – was dismissed.
The general was accused of supporting deceased Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in his mutiny at the end of June.
He quickly disappeared from sight and is believed to have been arrested by Russian authorities. However, he was reportedly released in the days following the death of the former Wagner boss.
The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, known for its sources in the Russian security services, claimed that Sorovikin had struck a deal with Russian authorities that made his release possible.
In mid-September, Russian state media reported that he had reappeared in Algeria – allegedly working for the Russian Defense Ministry. Algeria is an important client of the Russian arms industry.
According to Russian state media, his successor has been the Chief of Staff of the Russian Air Force and Deputy Commander of the Russian Air Force since 2018.
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