The Department of State is designating Azatbek Omurbekov, also known as “The Butcher of Bucha,” a Colonel in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the extrajudicial killings of unarmed Ukrainian civilians from Andriivka, Ukraine. The Department is also designating Daniil Frolkin, a Guard Corporal in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation due to his involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely the extrajudicial killing of an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in Andriivka. As a result of today’s action, Omurbekov, Frolkin, and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
Colonel Omurbekov was the commanding officer of Russia’s 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade during the period of time that Russia’s forces controlled the Ukrainian town Andriivka. Omurbekov later led the brigade to Bucha, Ukraine, where the Department of State determined that the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade killed, beat, dismembered, burned, and conducted mock executions of civilians. After accounts of the brigade’s brutality emerged, the Kremlin responded by issuing a statement indicating that Russian Federation President Putin had conferred honors upon the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, and Russia’s Ministry of Defense promoted Omurbekov and praised his leadership.
The reports that Omurbekov and Frolkin were involved in gross violations of human rights, as documented by NGOs and independent investigations, are serious and credible. By publicly designating Omurbekov and Frolkin, the United States reaffirms its commitment to upholding human rights, acknowledging the injustice experienced by victims and survivors, and promoting accountability for those responsible for human rights violations.
The United States stands committed to promoting accountability for Russia’s abuses and atrocities against the people of Ukraine. We will continue to use all appropriate avenues to pursue justice for Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine in its fight for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the rule of law, for as long as it takes.