Suspected Attackers of Kazakhstan Blogger Aidos Sadykov Identified


Three days ago, Kazakhstan political blogger and erstwhile opposition figure, Aidos Sadykov was shot in the head at a parking lot near his residence in Kyiv whilst standing next to his wife, Natalya Sadykova.

Sadykov is the author of the Telegram channel, ‘Base’, which has 59,000 subscribers, and has been permanently residing in Kyiv since 2014.

Two suspects have already been identified. Both are Kazakhstan citizens, 33-year-old Meiram Karataev and 36-year-old Altay Zhakanbaev, whose names have been corroborated by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine’s website.

According to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Internal Affairs, M. Kartayev was dismissed from the ministry in January of 2019 and is not currently a police officer.  They further elaborated that the Head of State (of Kazakhstan) had instructed the Ministry to clarify all circumstances of the case.

Immediately following the attack, President Tokayev of Kazakhstan said that “the official bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan are ready to join the investigation.”

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine reported that on the day of the crime the suspects crossed the border into Moldova and according to Ukrinform, the Ukrainian National News Agency, they have been placed on the international wanted list.

Over the years, Sadykov has frequently criticized the Kazakh authorities, including the current president. In 2020, Base, together with the initiative to create the opposition Democratic Party, were co-organizers of a rally in Almaty demanding a boycott of the parliamentary election. The Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, an unregistered political party, was founded and led by Zhanbolat Mamai, a former journalist who in 2017 was convicted of receiving funds from Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive former minster with judgements against him in numerous jurisdictions, including the U.S. and the U.K., where he was found to have committed “fraud on an epic scale.” Natalya Sadykova previously worked for Ablyazov’s since shuttered newspaper, Respublika.

Aidos Sadykov and Mamai both actively supported protests in January 2022 in Kazakhstan, which were widely seen as an attempted coup. Sadykov is wanted in Kazakhstan under articles on the incitement of discord.

Stephen M. Bland

Stephen M. Bland

Stephen M. Bland is a journalist, author, editor, commentator and researcher specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to joining The Times of Central Asia, he has worked for NGOs, think tanks, as the Central Asia expert on a forthcoming documentary series, for the BBC, The Diplomat, EurasiaNet, and numerous other publications.
Published in 2016, his book on Central Asia was the winner of the Golden Laureate of Eurasian Literature. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a book about the Caucasus.

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