Sergey Surovikin

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Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin
Sergey Surovikin (2018).jpg
Native name Сергей Владимирович Суровикин
Born 11 October 1966
Allegiance  Russia
Years of service 1987–present
Rank Colonel general
Commands held

34th Motor Rifle Division
42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division
20th Guards Army
Eastern Military District

Russian Aerospace Forces

Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin (Russian: Сергей Владимирович Суровикин; born 11 October 1966) is a Russian Armed Forces colonel general and commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces. He was in charge of setting up the Russian Military Police, a new organisation within the Russian Army.[1] Surovikin commanded the Eastern Military District between 2013 and 2017, and was presented to the news media as commander of the Group of Forces in Syria in the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.

Military service[edit]

Surovikin was born on 11 October 1966 in Novosibirsk.[2] In 1987, Surovikin graduated from the Omsk Higher Military Command School. He was sent to a Spetsnaz unit and served in the Soviet–Afghan War.[3]

By August 1991, he was a captain and commander of the 1st Rifle Battalion in the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division. During the August Coup, Surovikin was ordered to send his battalion into the tunnel on Garden Ring, where three demonstrators were killed. After the defeat of the coup, Surovikin was arrested and held under investigation for seven months. However, the charges were dropped on 10 December because Boris Yeltsin[4] concluded that Surovikin was only following orders. He was promoted to the rank of major afterwards.[5]

Surovikin attended the Frunze Military Academy. In September 1995, he was sentenced to a year of probation by the Moscow garrison's military court for illegally selling weapons. The conviction was overturned after the investigation concluded that Surovikin had agreed to give a fellow student a pistol for use in a competition, unaware of its intended purpose.[6] In 1995, he graduated from the Frunze Military Academy. Surovikin was sent to Tajikistan and commanded a motor rifle battalion there. He then became chief of staff of the 92nd Motor Rifle Regiment, chief of staff and commander of the 149th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment and chief of staff of the 201st Motor Rifle Division.[3]

In 2002, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff. He became commander of the 34th Motor Rifle Division at Yekaterinburg. In March 2004, Surovikin was accused by Lieutenant Colonel Viktor Chibizov of beating him up for voting for the wrong candidate. In April, division deputy commander for armaments Colonel Andrei Shtakal shot himself in the presence of Surovikin and the district deputy commander after being criticized by Surovikin.[3] In both cases, a military prosecutor found no evidence of guilt.[6]

From June 2004, he led the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division, stationed in Chechnya.

He was the chief of staff of the 20th Guards Army from 2005. In April 2008, he became the army commander.

In November 2008, Surovikin became head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff.[7] In January 2010, he became chief of staff of the Volga–Urals Military District, which soon became part of the Central Military District.[2]

From November 2011, he headed the working group charged with creation of the Military Police.[8] It was reported that Surovikin was tipped to head the Military Police after it was instituted; but the appointment did not materilise due to the intervention of the Russian Military Prosecutor′s Office, according to the Russian media, which presented the situation as a turf conflict between the Defence Ministry and the Military Prosecutor′s Office.[9][6] In October 2012, he became the chief of staff of the Eastern Military District. In October 2013, he was appointed commander of the district.[2] On 13 December, Surovikin was promoted to the rank of colonel general.[10]

On 9 June 2017, he was introduced to news media representatives as Commander of the Russian armed forces deployed to Syria.[11][12] Reportedly, he took this position in March 2017.[13]

In September 2017, Surovikin was cited by Russian media as a likely successor to Viktor Bondarev, who was on 26 September relieved of the position of the Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces.[14][1] According to a report published by RBK Group on 2 November 2017 that cited an anonymous source in the MoD, Surovikin had been appointed Commander of the Aerospace Forces, despite his initial objections.[15]

At the end of November 2017, the Russian MoD′s Krasnaya Zvezda reported that Surovikin had been appointed Commander of the Aerospace Forces by a presidential decree of 22 November.[16] TASS pointed up that Surovikin thus became the first combined–arms commander in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union to be put in charge of the Russian or Soviet air forces.[17] On 28 December, he was made a Hero of the Russian Federation for his leadership of the Group of Forces in Syria.[18]

Awards and private life[edit]

Surovikin was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Order of Military Merit and the Order of Courage three times. He was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation in December 2017.[19]

He is married and has two daughters.[2]


  1. ^ a b Создатель военной полиции генерал Суровикин возглавит ВКС России Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 21 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Суровикин Сергей Владимирович" [Surovikin Sergey Vladimirovich]. (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  3. ^ a b c "В Екатеринбурге полковник застрелился на учениях на глазах у командования, не выдержав критики" [In Yekaterinburg, a colonel shot himself on exercises in front of command, unable to withstand criticism]. (in Russian). 22 April 2004. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  4. ^ "Сергей Владимирович Суровикин. Биографическая справка" [Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin: Biography]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 7 July 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Профессия — служить родине" [Occupation – Serving the Motherland]. (in Russian). Moskovskij Komsomolets. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  6. ^ a b c Safronov, Ivan; Muradov, Musa (14 December 2011). "Военную прокуратуру не устроил полицейский кандидат" [Military prosecutor's office did not accept a military police candidate]. Kommersant (in Russian). Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Генерал Суровикин Сергей Владимирович" [General Surovikin Sergey Vladimirovich]. (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  8. ^ "Возглавить военную полицию в РФ может экс-руководитель ВАИ Минобороны" [Lead the military police in the Russian Federation may be ex-head of the Ministry of Defense VAI]. РИА Новости (in Russian). 29 October 2012. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  9. ^ Сергей Суровикин не прошел дальше отбора: Вместо военной полиции он возглавил штаб Восточного военного округа Kommersant, 30 October 2012.
  10. ^ "У К А З" [Ukase]. (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  11. ^ Briefing of Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff S. Rudskoy
  12. ^ Российский командующий в Сирии рассказал об операции против ИГ* RIA Novosti, 9 June 2017.
  13. ^ Генерал с сирийским взглядом на ВКС: Сергей Суровикин получил новое назначение Kommersant, 22 September 2017.
  14. ^ Источники сообщили о смене командующего ВКС России RIA Novosti, 21 September 2017.
  15. ^ Российской группировке в Сирии нашли нового командующего
  16. ^ Штандарты в надёжных руках Krasnaya Zvezda, 29 November 2017.
  17. ^ Главкомом ВКС назначен Сергей Суровикин TASS, 29 November 2017.
  18. ^ Baranets, Viktor; Grachev, Ivan (28 December 2017). "Стало известно, за что именно получили Звезду Героя генералы, воевавшие в Сирии" [Reasons behind the awarding of the Gold Star to generals who fought in Syria discovered]. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  19. ^ Путин присвоил звание Героя России генералу Суровикину за успехи в Сирии