Why was Nazi Butcher Botsun at Bucha?
[The story below by Evan Reif raises an important challenge to the official storyline of the Bucha massacre promoted in the mainstream media. The U.S. military has admitted that it cannot independently verify Ukrainian accounts of the atrocity alleging that Russian troops were behind it. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that Russian troops had left Bucha, on March 30, while “the evidence of crimes” emerged only four days later, after Ukrainian Security Service officers had arrived in the town outside Kyiv. The Ministry stressed that on March 31, the town’s Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk had confirmed in a video address that there were no Russian troops in Bucha. However, he did not say a word about civilians shot dead on the street with their hands tied behind their backs. Reif’s article points to the presence of a notorious neo-Nazi commander in Bucha at the time of the massacre, suggesting that he was a key figure implicated in it.—Editors]
Sergey Korotkikh is a man with many names. Botsun, Malyuta. Bandit. Terrorist. Nazi. All of them are fitting.
Born in 1974 in Tolyatti, USSR, his early life is not well documented. It is known that, as a child, his family moved to Belarus, where he would live for several decades. He served in the Soviet Marines as a young man, and allegedly attended the KGB Academy in 1994 (Belarus retained the name KGB for its secret police but there is no relation other than the name to the Soviet-era KGB) and was expelled in 1996 for his involvement with center-right anti-Lukashenko groups. [Alexander Luakashenko is the socialist leader of Belarus since 1994 who is allied with Vladimir Putin].
In 1999, Korotkikh joined the Belarussian chapter of Russian National Unity (RNU), his first neo-Nazi organization. The gang mostly sustained itself through petty gangsterism and racketeering, at which Korotkikh excelled. His training and skills meant that he rose quickly up the ranks, becoming one of its most feared muscle men.
Later that year he was involved in a fight with two of his former comrades in the Belarussian Popular Front. While much has been made of this encounter that made him appear as a stooge of Lukashenko, this was his only altercation with BPF activists as far as anyone knows. It was brutal, however, with some accounts saying Sergey beat one of the BPF men to death, which Sergey denies.
In 2001 the leader and founder of the RNU, Gleb Samoilov, was murdered while standing at the entrance of his home. Sergey was a prime suspect, but he and all other RNU members refused to co-operate with the police so the case was dropped. The RNU fell apart soon after that and Sergey moved to Russia in 2001. In 2004, he founded the National Socialist Society (NSO), which quickly became one of the wealthiest and most dangerous neo-Nazi organizations in Russia.
Unlike most other groups at the time, the NSO had a rigid hierarchy and offered military-style training to its members. It was able to pay its members a generous salary thanks to the backing of gangster Maxim Gritsay, which made it far more attractive than other Nazi groups.
The group itself could be the subject of many articles, but under the leadership of Korotkikh it carried out countless murders, robberies, extortion schemes and even bombings. It would become so successful and wealthy that, when finally shut down in 2010, the Russian authorities would find over 200 million rubles in its accounts.
In 2007, Korotkikh had himself filmed murdering two innocent Caucasian immigrants against the backdrop of a swastika flag in a video entitled “The Execution of a Dag [Dagestani] and a Tajik.” This video was so vile that it was initially believed to be a fake, but was quickly found by Russian prosecutors to be legitimate. The footage spread like wildfire throughout the internet and caused an outrage, possibly provoking the previously reluctant Russian authorities to action.
Only a few months thereafter, Korotkikh was expelled from the NSO. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, with the official NSO statement accusing him of theft and “financial mismanagement” which were likely true, however, almost certainly not the whole story. Over the next few years, Russian authorities launched a comprehensive attack on the remainder of the organization, arresting nearly all its members for a combined 28 counts of murder.
Sergey, however was untouched by this crackdown. At this point, rumors of police and/or intelligence collaboration also began to emerge. While I do believe he collaborated with the police to save his own skin, his ties to the FSB are much less clear. Ukrainian hackers have released what they say are chats between Sergey and his FSB handlers (now scrubbed from the site, for reasons unknown); however, while Sergey’s participation is clear, we have only their word that the other party is FSB.
While the content is suspicious—discussing smuggling, payment for illicit activities and so on—it is not out of the ordinary for a gangster, which Sergey very much still is. At one point, Sergey says he does not trust FSB, and it is specifically denied that he will be working for them.
I should point out here that there are very few trustworthy sources regarding Botsun, his life and his activities until about 2014. He is a loudmouth who loves publicity, with active YouTube, Instagram, and Telegram channels. I will not link to them to avoid giving this thug any more fame or fortune.
He loves to sit down for long interviews with anyone who will have him. His stories seem to grow ever more fantastical with each telling, claiming to have been a mercenary in the Middle East, in South America, and the founder of a Private Military Contractor (there is a company registered in his name called X-Trident, but I have found no evidence of its activities and it is registered out of an MMA gym).
The only evidence ever provided is the word of a scumbag Nazi thug or his equally repugnant Nazi friends, and these are not exactly trustworthy people.
I do not believe that he is an FSB agent or informer currently. He probably was one previously, but there are a variety of reasons I believe he went rogue, or perhaps defected to the other side.
Chief among them is that, upon arriving in Ukraine in 2014, he quickly became one of Azov’s top soldiers and has spent his entire time in Ukraine brutally slaughtering the separatists the FSB is backing.
It seems rather counterintuitive for the FSB to hire someone to kill its other employees, and while many liberals claim he is a provocateur, Ukraine had plenty of home-grown provocateurs long before Botsun arrived. It would not have been necessary to import terrorists into post-Maidan Ukraine. As for the second reason, I will elaborate below.
Living in a Nazi’s Paradise
After the destruction of the NSO, Sergey kept a low profile for several years. Very little is known about his activities during 2010-2014. Uncharacteristically of him, he does not seem to want to talk about it.
It is likely that his betrayal of his former comrades ruined his reputation and earning potential among Russian Nazis, and his extensive criminal background meant legitimate work was not possible. If he became a mercenary as he claims, this would most likely have been when he did so.
When the Maidan coup occurred in 2014, however, Sergey saw an opportunity. The ground has rarely been more fertile for a bloodthirsty fascist thug to ply his trade than 2014 Ukraine.
In 2014, Sergey moved to Ukraine. He did not just join Azov: By his own admission he was one of its original members and has been a military leader since day one. While this should be taken with a grain of salt, I have yet to find any information to refute it. His skills and experience meant that he climbed the ranks very rapidly in the early days of Azov.
He would become its first intelligence leader, a leader of the civic corps and eventually leader of Azov special forces. Once Poroshenko legitimized Azov as part of Ukraine’s security apparatus, Sergey was given command of a Ukrainian federal police force.
Sergey was a busy boy in his new home. Beyond playing an important role in the daily atrocities carried out by Azov and Ukrainian forces, he was also incredibly active in Azov’s “business ventures,” including racketeering and extortion. Kharkov became his fiefdom, one which he ruled with an iron fist. Between this and generous funding from Ukrainian gangster Ihor Kholomoisky, Botsun became very wealthy, amassing a fortune of more than a million euros by 2015. He would even acquire a private jet, an L-39 Albatross. This advanced jet trainer can be configured for a variety of combat roles.
He would ruthlessly consolidate power, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake, while also gaining friends in high places, including former Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, whose son Oleksandr trained at Botsun’s MMA gym, and even Petro Poroshenko himself.
Despite his incredibly sordid background, he was the first foreign fighter to receive Ukrainian citizenship, as a reward for his service (torturing, murdering and robbing) in the anti-terrorist operation zone (ATO). In response to widespread condemnation, the SBU carried out exhaustive background checks.
While I know the Ukrainian government of Poroshenko was incredibly corrupt and incompetent, it beggars belief that it would allow a man with so many red flags to walk in the door unless it was very sure he was not working for the enemy. Even Poroshenko is not THAT stupid. This also would have given Sergey a huge incentive to come into the Ukrainian camp and stay there.
All of this leads us to Bucha, Ukraine. What has been widely publicized is the massacre of civilians that took place there on the outskirts of Kyiv some time between March 31 and April 2, 2022.
What has not been so widely publicized is that the Nazi murderer and terrorist, a well-paid agent of the Ukrainian state, Sergey “Botsun” Korotkikh was not only among the first Ukrainian forces in the town along with his squad of terrorists, he was making jokes about shooting civilians as he entered. He would later happily post these videos on his official telegram channel.
At 6 seconds, you can hear the dialogue, a rough translation of which is:
“There are guys without blue armbands, can I shoot them?”
The Ukrainian government clearly has a lot of explaining to do. Not just for allowing this bloodthirsty Nazi terrorist free reign in Donbas, not just for making him rich, not just for arming and supporting his death squads, not just for granting him citizenship, status, and power within its society, but for allowing this right-wing fanatic to breathe the same air as decent people.
I doubt we will ever receive satisfactory explanations.
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About the Author
Evan Reif was born in a small mining town in Western South Dakota as the son of a miner and a librarian.
His father’s struggles as a union organizer, and the community’s struggles with de-industrialization, nurtured Evan’s deep interest in left-wing politics. This, along with his love of history, made him a staunch anti-fascist.
When not writing, researching or working, Evan enjoys fishing, shooting, and Chinese cooking.