A few days after its liberation, the Ukrainian city of Boutcha still counts its destroyed buildings and its corpses on the ground. kyiv points to the Russian state as responsible for the abuses. With a name in mind, that of a military leader very close to the Kremlin: Azatbek Omurbekov, now known as the “butcher” of Boutcha.
Aged about forty, Azatbek Omurbekov is thus suspected of having coordinated the looting, rape and massacre of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians by Russian soldiers in this Ukrainian town of some 36,000 inhabitants, located about 25 km from kyiv.
The man, whose face made the headlines of the foreign press this Thursday, April 7, leads the 64th motorized infantry brigade of the Russian army.
His unit, made up of about 1,600 men according to InformNapalm, a Ukrainian group which monitors the activities of the Russian army, was installed in Boutcha for more than a month until March 30, when they started to retreat to Russia.
A retreat but perhaps not a leak, indicates franceinfo which, relying on intelligence services, ensures that Omurbekov and his battalion n ° 51.460 are currently near the Russian city of Belgorod, on the Ukrainian border, and are preparing to redeploy to the city of Kharkiv (eastern Ukraine).
A seasoned warlord
From concordant sources, it appears that Azatbek Omurbekov is far from being a beginner, quite the contrary. He is an experienced and seasoned military leader. The lieutenant-colonel had already visited Ukraine in 2014, where he had been spotted in Crimea and Donbass.
That same year, he received a medal for his “exceptional service” from the hand of Dmitry Bulgakov, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense, advances the British daily The Independent.
Other known information about him, Azatbek Omurbekov was blessed by the Orthodox Church in November 2021, just before leading the offensive in Ukraine.
“These are not our most important weapons, history shows that most of our battles are won with our souls”, he would have, according to the Times, whispered in the ear of the Orthodox priest in charge of the ceremony and where he was photographed.
A hunt launched to find him
After the revelations of the abuses committed in Boutcha, many activists, especially Ukrainians, are trying to find his traces, clues.
InformNapalm was able to get hold of Omurbekov’s mailing address, as well as his email address and even his cell phone number.
The group of Ukrainian activists say they tried to call him, reports franceinfo. Relatives were on the phone, saying they hadn’t heard from him for several days.
Ukrainian justice is also hard at work and ensures that it is studying all the possibilities to put Russian military officials, including Omurbekov, face to face with their responsibilities.