TASS Chief’s Exit from Moscow Leads to Unexpected Dismissal Post-Mutiny

The ousting of TASS General Director Sergei Mikhailov came swiftly after his alleged absence during the Wagner uprising – a situation that precipitated the sudden halt of his career.

The “Moscow Times,” an English-language Russian publication, disclosed that the Russian government terminated TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov on July 5. The dismissal was attributed to TASS’s deviation from the Kremlin’s prescribed narrative in their coverage of the Wagner Group insurrection. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko announced this development at the TASS headquarters. Unexpectedly, Andrei Kondrashov, deputy general director of state-run WGTRK and a previous spokesperson for Putin’s 2018 election campaign, was designated as Mikhailov’s successor.

Unexpected Ouster

The revelation caught both TASS staff and Mikhailov off guard, as revealed by three individuals close to the ex-director general to The Moscow Times. Insiders claim that Mikhailov’s termination served as retribution for TASS’s critical coverage of the Wagner mercenary group’s rebellion against the Russian regime. This insight was corroborated by multiple sources, including a senior TASS executive and various officials, who spoke to The Moscow Times under anonymity.

Absence from Moscow as Grounds for Termination

Two associates of Mikhailov indicated that his absence from Moscow on June 24, during the uprising, served as the primary catalyst for his dismissal. However, Mikhailov refuted these claims, asserting that he had been present in the office throughout that period.

Contrarily, the Kremlin’s official stance diverges from these accounts. Dmitry Peskov, President Putin’s spokesperson, dismissed claims of Mikhailov’s termination to the “Moscow Times.” Inquiries regarding the rationale behind Mikhailov’s supposed resignation went unanswered.

Sweeping Dismissals Post-Uprising

The removal of the TASS Director General is one among several personnel shake-ups following the unsuccessful mutiny. Reports indicate that numerous senior military officers, inclusive of Sergei Surovikin, the erstwhile head of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, have been ousted. In total, 15 high-ranking Russian military officers have been apprehended and suspended from duty.

Despite Mikhailov’s assertions that he harbored no intentions of resigning, multiple TASS staff members affirmed to The Moscow Times that he aimed to continue his tenure with the agency and had even deliberated work plans extending to the close of 2023.

Image: Kremlin.ru, Sergei Michailow (04-06-2021), CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

Nach oben scrollen