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Ukraine activists say they ID’d Azatbek Omurbekov as ‘Butcher of Bucha’

Ukrainian activists claim to have identified the so-called “Butcher of Bucha,” a decorated Russian commander leading the unit that massacred hundreds of civilians in what is being widely condemned as genocide.

Lt. Col. Azatbek Omurbekov, thought to be around 40, was first identified by InformNapalm, a Ukrainian volunteer group that monitors Russia’s military and special services.

It shared his home address as well as email and telephone number, calling him the “military villain” behind the massacre in Bucha, the suburb of Kyiv where bodies have been left strewn in the street or thrown into mass graves.

The group IDed Omurbekov as leading the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, which the war-torn nation’s Ministry of Defense also blamed online for “committing war crimes” in Bucha.

The decorated military leader was blessed by an Orthodox priest in November, ahead of his deployment to Ukraine, according to the Times of London, which noted his “Butcher of Bucha” nickname. 

Azatbek Omurbekov
Ukrainian activists have identified Lt. Col. Azatbek Omurbekov as the commander of the unit that massacred hundreds of civilians in Bucha.
Rossiya 24/east2west news

“History shows that we fight most of our battles with our souls,” Omurbekov reportedly said following the service, which was led by the bishop of Khabarovsk.

“Weapons are not the most important thing. The church is a place where we can take Communion and prepare for the coming events,” he said at the time, according to the UK Times.

“With the blessing of the Almighty, we hope to achieve the same things that our forebears achieved.”

Bucha
Russia’s actions in Bucha are being condemned as genocide.
EPA

Omurbekov was previously also awarded a medal for outstanding service in 2014 by Dmitry Bulgakov, the deputy Russian defense minister, the UK paper said.

Ukraine’s defense ministry also printed a list of suspected members of the Russian death squad, vowing that “all war criminals will be prosecuted for crimes against the civilians of Ukraine.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, called for officers to be held accountable in war crime prosecutions “similar to the Nuremberg tribunals” which followed World War II.

Ukainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fought back tears after touring Bucha.
AFP via Getty Images

“The Russian military and those who gave them orders must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes in Ukraine,” he said.

“Anyone who has given criminal orders, or carried them out by killing our people, will be brought before a tribunal.”

The Nuremberg trials in Germany, along with the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in Japan, tried and found guilty numerous military leaders accused of war crimes during the second world war.

Bucha
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov compared the Russian troops to Nazis and called them “inhuman.”
AFP via Getty Images

Zelensky noted that Nazi political leaders had also been held accountable.

“I would like to remind Russian diplomats that men like von Ribbentrop did not escape punishment; Adolf Eichmann also did not go unpunished,” he said. Both were executed for their roles in enabling the Holocaust.

The harrowing scenes of bodies littering Bucha have sparked the greatest condemnation in more than a month of war, with several Western leaders joining Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in calling it genocide.

Lieutenant Colonel, Azatbek Omurbekov,
Ukrainian activists have posted Lt. Col.’s Azatbek Omurbekov’s address, email and phone number as well.
MoD/east2west news

Zelensky fought back tears as he toured the Kyiv suburb Monday, and highlighted it during his powerful speech to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, accusing Russia of committing “the most terrible war crimes” since World War II.

“These are war crimes, and this will be recognized by the world as genocide,” Zelensky said in Bucha on Monday, adding Russian troops “treated people worse than animals.”

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov called the Russian troops in Bucha “utterly inhuman” and compared them to Nazis, the UK Times noted.

“This is what the SS troops used to do in the past,” he said. “This evil simply cannot go unpunished. Our intelligence is consistently identifying all invaders and killers. All of them! And each killer will at his own time get what he deserves.”

Despite mounting evidence, Russia continued on Tuesday to deny the massacre, accusing Ukraine of staging the scenes as propaganda to escalate opposition to invading forces.

The Kremlin initially claimed it could not have been Russian forces because they had left Bucha at the end of last month.

However, satellite images released Tuesday showed bodies clearly strewn in the streets as early as March 18, when Russian forces were still there — and meaning some have been there for weeks.

Many of the dead still remain in black bags in 45-foot-long trenches dug as mass graves.

“We brought people here from the streets because the dogs were trying to eat the bodies,” local priest Andriy Holovin told the Telegraph.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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