Russian General ‘Very Depressed over’ Ukraine Invasion: Report | National Review

Russian General ‘Very Depressed over’ Ukraine Invasion: Report | National Review

A service member of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic walks past a top turret of an armored vehicle destroyed in the town of Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, March 13, 2022. (Stringer/Reuters)

A high-ranking Russian defense official told his American counterparts that he is “very depressed over” his country’s invasion of Ukraine, leading U.S. officials to conclude that his unusual comments reflected low Russian morale even among top military officers, CNN reported.

The outlet obtained a U.S. readout of a recent U.S.–Russian military meeting in Moscow. That document reportedly describes a bizarre interaction between Major General Yevgeny Ilyin, who has ties to Ukraine, and one of his American counterparts:

[The readout] makes particular note of the behavior of Russian Major General Yevgeny Ilyin, deputy chief of the main directorate of international cooperation who has a long track record of dealing with American officials. In a break from typical practice, Ilyin spoke with no notes or set talking points, according to the readout.

As the meeting was breaking up, one US defense attaché “casually inquired” about Ilyin’s family roots in Ukraine, and the Russian general’s “stoic demeanor suddenly became flushed and agitated,” according to the readout. The Americans reported Ilyin responded “yes,” and said that he was born in Dnipropetrovsk before moving with his family moving to Donetsk, where he went to school.

But the US officials reported Ilyin then added that the current situation in Ukraine is “tragic and I am very depressed over it” – and then he walked out without shaking hands, according to the readout.

The U.S. officials also concluded that Ilyin’s comments demonstrated that he was “clearly in distress over the situation but who had nowhere to project his anger except in line with Kremlin’s state sponsored narrative.”

The CNN report, which is worth reading in full, also notes that the U.S. officials wrote that they had never “witnessed such an outburst by Russian counterparts at an official meeting.”

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.