Indeed! I found out since then that ж, ш and ц are always pronounced as hard consonants, making е sound like э, ё sound like о, and и sound like ы; that's what is happening here. Conversely, ч and щ are always pronounced as soft consonants leading to the same phenomenon in reverse, across all vowel pairs.
He does the same thing with the genitive form of sister, which is сестры, but which he pronounces like the plural form, сёстры.
And that is after the Russian soft с, so has nothing to do with hard consonants, as mentioned by someone else here. He is just plain WRONG, in my opinion, and causing confusion.
To hear the difference in Google translate, type the English sentences "Is this for you or for your wife? The wives are kind." Translate into Russian. (They do not mark the trema, like much Russian print.) Highlight, one at a time, the genitive and plural forms in the Russian text, and listen to the audio by clicking the speaker icon on the lower left side. The native female speaker pronounces them entirely differently.
And has anyone else noticed that he pronounces the Russian letter в like a W? When he says, for example, спрашивает, he pronounces it like sprosh-ee-wa-yet, while the woman speaker does not. So, what's up with that? Perhaps he speaks a non-Moscow-Russian dialect?
I translated the sentence to,"Is this for you or is this for your wife?" It was not accepted. Since Russian is not translated word for word, I believe my answer should have been accepted. I am a native English speaker. Also, my wife who is a native Russian speaker (and has a degree in linguistics) says it should be accepted.