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Kazakh opposition blogger dies after being shot in Kiev

Aydos Sadykov has passed away in the Ukrainian capital after spending nearly two weeks in a coma following an assassination attempt

Kazakh opposition figure and blogger Aydos Sadykov has passed away in Kiev after being shot last month in an apparent assassination attempt, his wife Natalia Sadykova reported on Tuesday on her Facebook page. 

On June 18, an unknown assailant approached the car in which Sadykov and his wife were sitting in the Shevchenkivsky district of the Ukrainian capital and fired several shots at him before fleeing the scene. His wife was unharmed in the attack. 

After the assassination attempt, the 56-year-old Sadykov fell into a coma for 13 days before ultimately passing away on Tuesday. 

“Aydos Sadykov left us today at 3:00 Kiev time. My beloved husband, the father of our three children, a great son of the Kazakh people. Aydos gave his life for Kazakhstan, accepted a martyr’s death at the hands of killers. Aydos fought for life in intensive care for thirteen days, but no miracle happened,” his wife wrote, adding that she blames Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the blogger’s death. 

The Kazakh government has vehemently denied its involvement in Sadykov’s murder. The speaker of the country’s Senate, Maulen Ashimbayev, has dismissed such allegations as “provocations and insinuations that do not correspond to reality.” 

An investigation into the attack has identified two main suspects, both citizens of Kazakhstan: Meiram Karatayev and Altay Zhakanbayev. Investigators claim both fled to neighboring Moldova after the attack. They were placed on the international wanted list. 

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On June 21, Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General’s office reported that Zhakanbayev had been detained by the Kazakh authorities after he voluntarily turned himself in. Kiev has announced that it would request that both suspects be extradited to Ukraine to stand trial, but the Kazakh authorities have refused, stressing that the country “does not extradite its citizens to other states.” 

Nevertheless, Tokayev has expressed Astana’s readiness to cooperate with Kiev on the investigation, including through Interpol. Ashimbayev has also stated that Kazakh prosecutors are already in contact with their Ukrainian colleagues and are providing all of the necessary assistance. 

Sadykov was known as the creator of the opposition Kazakh Telegram and YouTube channel Base where he criticized the Kazakh government and Tokayev, accusing them of being “puppets” of the Kremlin. He and his family moved from Kazakhstan to Kiev in 2014, where they acquired refugee status. Last year, he was put on Kazakhstan’s wanted list for “inciting hatred.”

July 02, 2024 at 05:10PM

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