One of Vladimir Putin's most despicable minions broke cover for Victory Day, despite being accused of rapes and massacres in the killing fields of Bucha in Ukraine.
Lieutenant Colonel Azatbek Omurbeko is accused by Ukraine of committing war crimes, including mass rape and murder of civilians, during Putin's invasion of the country.
As commander of the 64th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade, he led the occupation of Bucha, a town on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv which was occupied by Kremlin forces until their retreat.
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And despite the serious allegations levied against him, the ‘Butcher of Bucha’ as he is known, fronted a major Victory Day military parade in eastern Russia.
He is seen on an historic T-34 tank in Khabarovsk, a rare sighting of the commander since the Bucha atrocities.
After returning from Ukraine, he was promoted to full colonel and awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the country’s highest honour, under a secret Putin decree.
Omurbekov, 39, who led the 64th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade, was heralded alongside his men by Putin for "mass heroism, bravery, fortitude and courage”.
Ukraine specifically identified members of his brigade as responsible for murders in Bucha where the Russian forces were also accused of weaponising rape.
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Ukrainian reporter Evgeny Spirin said of the scenes in Bucha “Some of the killed children had their arms tied up.
“Children…. They were tying up children. There were shot dogs. Killed women. Girls younger than ten with their vaginas torn apart….
“How to live with this, and is it worth living at all? How do I explain this to myself, how? They must cease to exist.
“They must all be destroyed, each and every one of them, turned into dust, into mud, into clay, all of them.”
Omurbekov and his soldiers are from Khabarovsk.
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