Who is Aidos Sadykov?

Source: youtube.com/@base-kazakh

The tragic shooting of Kazakh journalist, Aidos Sadykov is suspected to be collateral damage in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the ensuing geopolitical subversions.

Aidos Sadykov and his wife Natalya Sadykova host the YouTube channel @base-kazakh, which, according to their description, “covers events in Kazakhstan and the world and does not depend on the authorities, oligarchs and grants”.

The couple left Kazakhstan in 2014 following allegations of slander against Sadykova by Kazakh MP Maral Sergazievich Itegulov, a charge no longer considered a criminal offense as of 2020. Since 2014, they have resided in Kyiv, where they have received refugee status.

Sadykov has criticized the Kazakh authorities in the regional press since 2000. Also a former chair of the Aktobe NSDP Party Azat branch, Aidos Sadykov was imprisoned for hooliganism in 2010, but was released early under amnesty. He later founded the “Gastat” opposition movement after leaving the NSDP and establishing an independent trade union at CNPS-Aktobemunaigas, a local oil and gas enterprise.

He is associated with another outspoken controversial figure, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who has sought political asylum in France. Ablyazov faced murder charges in Kazakhstan following the death of a bank CEO – the same bank that Ablyazov later took over and reportedly defrauded. He now faces judgements against him exceeding $5 billion in UK and U.S. courts related to laundering stolen funds. Sadykova worked for the newspaper Respublika, which was allegedly funded by Ablyazov.

The apparent assassination attempt of Sadykov has raised questions about motive.

Kazakhstan parliamentary deputy, Ermurat Bapi has suggested that the assassination attempt was due to “third forces” that want to create a “quarrel between Kazakhstan and some countries”.

Sadykova has accused President Tokayev of ordering the assassination. The couple’s YouTube channel has been consistently critical of Kazakhstan’s government, starting with President Nazarbayev’s term and continuing under new President Tokayev. Since the war broke out in Ukraine, Sadykov and his wife have claimed that Kazakhstan’s leadership is colluding with the Kremlin.

According to The Guardian, Sadykov is a “prominent blogger with more than 1 million subscribers on YouTube.” While the YouTube channel does in fact show 1.01 million followers, Washington University’s public tool demonstrates that at least 88% of these are dead accounts (meaning they show no activity), according to an analysis conducted three days after the attack on Sadykov.

On June 20, the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan announced that they had reached out to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and offered their full assistance in solving the crime by involving highly-skilled investigators from Kazakhstan.