Speculation is mounting after it was mooted that Ukraine may have captured one of Russia's most senior army officers.
A man wearing the uniform of a mid-ranking Lieutenant-Colonel was seen in a video depicting a group of Russian prisoners of war near Kharkiv earlier this week.
However, in what would be a crushing blow to Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian media now claims the man is "likely" to be Andrei Sychevoi, a Lieutenant General and thought to be the most senior Russian officer to be captured since World War II.
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Images circulating both Twitter and Telegram show Sychevoi among a group of Russian troops handcuffed on their knees and being interrogated by Ukrainian soldiers.
The man is bleeding from a cut on his eyebrow and refuses to answer questions from the troops.
One social media user claimed they were captured near Balakliya, in the Kharkiv region, but his capture has not yet been officially confirmed.
Chuck Pfarrer, former SEAL Team Six Squadron Leader, posted on Twitter: “Yesterday, videos featured a RU officer captured on the Kharkiv front.
“He was assumed to be a local commander – he was, in fact, Lieutenant General Andrei Sychevoi, General in command RU’s ‘West’ Group.
“Sychevoi is the most senior Russian officer captured since WWII.”
Nexta TV tweeted: "It seems that the Armed Forces of Ukraine captured not the usual 'lieutenant colonel', but the commander of the 'West' grouping, Colonel General Andrey Sychevoi.”
In its daily military update on September 9, the Kyiv Post said infantrymen had "likely" captured Sychevoi, citing circulating video and independent Ukrainian media sources.
The Lviv Journal tweeted: “Time will tell if it's Gen. Andrei Sychevoi that appears in the video.”
Since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine back in February, Putin has seen a number of high-profile figures abandon him.
He has also lost 63 top-ranking Russian officials since the war in Ukraine began – including three of his colonels in a single day.
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