A defector from the Russian army said his comrades were languishing on "Rambo syndrome” as they allegedly raped and pillaged in Ukraine. Nikita Chibrin, 27, recounted an incident where he claimed that four of his fellow soldiers had raped a mother and her daughter in the Ukrainian town of Andriivka. After spending four months in Ukraine, Chibrin applied for political asylum in Spain and was eager to tell his story about his time fighting for the Russian military. 

According to the Daily Mail, Chibrin said he served under commander Azatbek Omurbekov, whose troops were accused of committing atrocities in Ukraine, including the supposed massacre of civilians and raping women and young girls around Bucha. Mass graves were found in Bucha after the Russian forces had pulled out of the region in Ukraine, with bodies littered all over the streets. 

Omurbekov was later promoted from Lt-Col to Colonel by the Russian President. The now Colonel Omurbekov was said to be labeled as the “Butcher of Bucha” for his troop actions in the town. Ukrainian officials specifically identified members of the 64th Motorized Rifle brigade as responsible for the murders. Chibrin said that the soldiers under Omurbekov went crazy. He recalled the troops saying, “We have the power, we have the tanks, we have infantry fighting vehicles, weapons”. The troops had the “Rambo syndrome” switch on, Chibrin remarked. He mentioned soldiers were looting houses for valuables, such as household decorations and mobile devices.

He told another media outlet that the soldiers went insane because of these cases. He said the troops got drunk on alcohol they had looted from the houses and mentioned a case where four of his fellow soldier had sexually assaulted a mother and her daughter. He denied that the sexual assaults were approved by his superiors but said the soldiers who were against the war, and lived in a constant state of fear of physical and psychological pressure. 

He said one of the men involved managed to flee but the other three were severely beaten by their comrades and officers for the actions, considered shooting them as well. Chibrin blamed the barbarity committed by some of his fellow soldiers on the harsh conditions and bullying.

A Ukrainian police officer walks at a burial site in a forest on the outskirts of Izyum, eastern Ukraine on September 16, 2022. A Ukrainian police officer walks at a burial site in a forest on the outskirts of Izyum, eastern Ukraine on September 16, 2022. Getty Images | SERGEY BOBOK / AFP