Did Ukraine capture a Russian Lt. General during its counteroffensive?

Source: Hot Air

This falls under the category of too good to check. As Ed pointed out this morning, the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east seems to be shaping up as a genuine disaster for Russia. I came across this animation which shows the territory Ukraine has retaken in the past few days.

Wednesday there were reports of an even bigger loss for Russia. This has not been confirmed yet but it’s possible that Ukrainian forces have captured a Russian Lieutenant General.

Images closely resembling Lieutenant General Andrei Sychevoi, commander of the Russian Federation’s (RF) Group of Forces West, appeared on Ukrainian social media, and then on independent news platforms on Wednesday, September 7.

A widely-reported video shows a bound RF officer with facial features closely resembling Sychevoi’s official photographs, being interrogated by Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) soldiers. By the evening of Thursday, September 8 independent Ukrainian news sources were reporting Sychevoi’s capture as likely, but not confirmed.

The kneeling man is shown wearing a standard-issue Russian army camouflage uniform and Lieutenant Colonel rank, without other markers. He is bleeding from a cut on his brow and does not answer UAF soldier questions.

Were General Sychevoi to be in UAF hands, he would become the highest-ranking Russian officer to become a prisoner of war since World War Two.

Did they really get him? Here’s the video clip of the captured soldier.

Some observers have claimed the soldier’s nose doesn’t quite match that of Lt. General Sychevoi. They may have a point but it’s a bit hard to tell because the angles are different. What does appear to match, at least based on what I see, is the chin and the ears. Does the soldier have that same mole on his left cheek? I really can’t tell.

As mentioned he’s dressed as a lieutenant but there have been reports that Russian soldiers are responding to the Ukrainian counterattack by ditching their uniforms and trying to blend in as civilians:

…some Russian troops in the Kharkiv region have deserted and abandoned their uniforms due to Russia’s “significant losses,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said, adding that the soldiers are hoping to blend in while wearing civilian clothing.

“Personnel of the occupying forces in civilian clothes resort to desertion and try to return to the territory of the Russian Federation,” the General Staff said in a situational update Friday, claiming that 15 such cases had been observed.

There’s also another possibility. I see some people on Twitter claiming that Lieutenant General Sychevoi was fired recently for poor performance.

Maybe the Lt. General was busted to a lower rank because he wasn’t advancing quickly enough? Or maybe this really is a Lt. Colonel. This is the best case I’ve seen that this is not the general.

Anyway, let’s just admit there’s a huge grain of salt here and instead of dwelling on that, consider what it would mean if Ukraine really did capture a Lt. General. This guy’s bio describes him as a retired DoD civil servant.

In short, if they really found all of this stuff it would be a huge blow to Russia and their allies on the ground. And that’s why I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up because if a story sounds too good to be true, it usually is. At a minimum, we need to wait for a confirmation or a denial from one side or the other.