VLADIMIR Putin is too scared to kill a suspected putschist named General Armageddon, sources said last night.
General Sergei Surovikin was questioned about allegations that he already knew about the uprising of Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Rumors circulated yesterday that the 56-year-old military soldier was even being interrogated in Moscow’s dismal Lefortovo prison for his findings.
However, Moscow sources say that the weakened Putin will not punish Surovikin – because he is too popular with troops who may turn their weapons against the Russian tyrant.
Surovikin has not been seen in public since it was claimed he knew of Prigozhin’s attempt to oust Russia’s disastrous Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the flop in Ukraine’s election campaign.
A source said: “Shoigu is terrified of Surovikin’s return.
“He justified himself to Putin and accused Surovik of treason – but they are afraid to arrest Surovik because the officials are for him.”
Putin’s dilemma over how to purge his rebel ranks while Ukraine makes gains on the battlefield opened further cracks in his power base.
And later reports indicate that Surovikin was not arrested at all, but merely kept a low profile.
Surovikin – a former commander of Ukraine’s armed forces – was appointed head of Russia’s air force in January, when Putin was first startled by coup rumors.
His daughter Veronika said yesterday: “Nothing happened to the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces.
“No one has arrested him and everyone is at their jobs.”