WATCH: Ukrainian footage claims to show highest-ranking Russian officer captured since WW II

Image of Vladimir Putin. Credit: Harold Escalona/

Colonel General Andrei Sychevoi would be the highest-ranking Russian officer captured since WW II.


In what appears to be yet another humiliating blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a captured high-ranking Russian officer has been displayed on social media by Ukrainian soldiers. A handcuffed, kneeling officer can be seen in video footage, with a bloodied nose. It has been claimed that the man is Colonel General Andrei Sychevoi.

The man appears with several other tired-looking troops, being held at gunpoint, while the alleged Sychevoi is seen staring expressionlessly straight ahead. It is believed he and his men were captured during the counter-offensive operation launched by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region

Andrii Tsaplienko, a Ukrainian journalist, posting on his Telegram account, claimed that a unit from the Samara SZSHR special response unit had been ambushed by the Ukrainians. The two stars on the uniform of the officer denote that he is the rank of a Russian lieutenant general.

If the captured man is indeed Sychevoi then it will be a devastating embarrassment to Putin, as the 53-year-old officer is known to be one of his top men. He would become the most senior Russian officer captured since WW II.

It begs the question though of why such a high-ranking military man would be on the front line in a situation where he could be captured, or even killed.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the general was the group commander for the western region of the area he was picked up in. There have also been claims that he had tried to pass himself off as a soldier of a lower rank. Reports of his capture have brought no confirmation from either Moscow or Kyiv.

On February 28, the EU placed the real Sychevoi on its list of sanctioned people. At that time he was listed as the commander of the 8th Guards Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District. Recent unverified reports have placed him in command of the Western Military District.

According to Rob Lee, a military analyst, citing a Russian Telegram channel, Sychevoi could have been replaced at least four weeks ago. He has been dubbed ‘a war criminal of the highest rank, who gives orders in the war against Ukraine’, by Charter 97, the human rights group.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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