Who is Lt. Col Azatbek Omurbekov? Russian Commander Identified as 'Butcher of Bucha' Was Blessed by Orthodox Church

Lieutenant Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, a Russian commander, has been identified as the alleged 'Butcher of Bucha'. The decorated soldier is the commander of the 64th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade which was involved in the takeover of Bucha in war-torn Ukraine.

The Russian authorities have strongly claimed that the dead bodies in Bucha were staged after the withdrawal of Russian forces on March 30. However, satellite images shows the dead bodies lying in the streets since March 19.

Lieutenant Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov
Lieutenant Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov is dubbed as 'Butcher of Bucha.' Twitter

'Butcher of Bucha' Was Blessed by Orthodox Church

The Times reported that Omurbekov was identified by InformNapalm, a Ukrainian volunteer initiative that monitors the activities of the Russian military and special services, as the commander being blessed by an Orthodox church in November. Following the service led by the Bishop of Khabarovsk, the commander had said, "History shows that we fight most of our battles with our souls. Weapons are not the most important thing."

"The church is a place where we can take Communion and prepare for the coming events. With the blessing of the Almighty, we hope to achieve the same things that our forebears achieved," Omurbekov said at the time, according to The Times.

The Daily Mail reported that Omurbekov, who is believed to be in his 40's, is a decorated soldier who was awarded with a medal for outstanding service in 2014 by Dmitry Bulgakov, the deputy Russian defence minister.

Apart from revealing his identity, InformNapalm also shared Omurbekov's residential address, email and telephone number.

Russia Denied Genocide

Following the withdrawal of Russian troops from Bucha, social media was splashed with graphic images and videos of dead bodies lying strewn on the streets following the massacre. Accusing Moscow of genocide, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared Russian forces to the Islamic State terror group during his address at the UN Security Council meeting.

Sharing the grisly images of the badly burnt bodies, mass graves, people killed by shooting, Zelensky said that civilians had been shot in the back of the head after being tortured, blown up with grenades in their apartments and crushed to death by tanks while in cars by the Russian forces.

"They cut off limbs, cut their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were pulled out only because their aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them," he said.

"Anyone who has given criminal orders and carried them out by killing our people will be brought before the tribunal which should be similar to the Nuremberg tribunals," said the Ukrainian President during his first appearance before the UN's Security Council.