The person responsible for the atrocities committed in Boutcha has been identified by Ukrainian activists who track information related to the war in their country.
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The one they nicknamed “the butcher of Boutcha” would be a decorated Russian commander, at the head of the unit which would have massacred hundreds of civilians, a massacre qualified as genocide by many organizations.
Lt. Col. Azatbek Omurbekov, believed to be around 40, was first identified by InformNapalm, a Ukrainian volunteer group that monitors Russian military and special services.
His home address, email and phone number have been shared on the internet.
Activists discovered that Azatbek Omurbekov would be the leader of the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also accused him of having “committed war crimes” in Boutcha.
Azatbek Omurbekov was blessed by an Orthodox priest in November, ahead of his deployment to Ukraine, according to The Times of London.
“History shows that we fight most of our battles with our souls,” Omurbekov reportedly said after the ceremony. Weapons aren’t the most important thing. Church is a place where we can commune and prepare for events to come,” 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 ancestors did.”
Omurbekov was also awarded a medal for outstanding service in 2014 by Dmitry Bulgakov, Russia’s deputy defense minister, the British newspaper said.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry also released a list of alleged “death squad” members, promising that “all war criminals will be prosecuted for crimes against Ukrainian civilians.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, called for officers to be held accountable for “Nuremberg tribunal-like” war crimes prosecutions that followed World War II.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov called Russian troops in Boutcha “completely inhumane” and compared them to Nazis, reports The Times of London.
“That’s what SS troops used to do,” he said. This evil simply cannot go unpunished. Our intelligence services constantly identify all invaders and killers. All! And each killer will get what he deserves at his own pace.
Despite mounting evidence, Russia continued Tuesday to deny the massacre, accusing Ukraine of staging.
However, satellite images released on Tuesday showed bodies clearly strewn on the streets as early as March 18, while Russian forces were still there, meaning some have been there for weeks.