Ukraine: RSF condemns the shooting of Aydos Sadykov, Kazakh blogger exiled in Kyiv

Kazakh blogger Aydos Sadykov, in a coma since 18 June, when he was shot in the street in Kyiv succumbed to his injuries on 2 July. His killers, Kazakh citizens, have been identified by the Ukrainian courts. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this terrible crime and calls on the Ukrainian and Kazakh authorities to find the perpetrators as quickly as possible and to bring them to justice.

"Aydos Sadykov left us today [2 July] at 3 am. [...] For thirteen days, Aydos fought for his life in an intensive care unit, but there was no miracle. His death will remain on [Kazakh President] Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's conscience," announced  journalist Natalya Sadykova, journalist upon her husband's death in a Kyiv hospital on Facebook. On 18 June, while they were in their car near their home in the Ukrainian capital, a man shot the Kazakh blogger.

The couple had been refugees in Ukraine for ten years, where they had founded the Kazakh opposition YouTube news channel Base, which covers Kazakh government corruption stories and has over 1 million subscribers. A few hours before the shooting, they had published a video entitled "The President of Kazakhstan has become a puppet of Russian agents of influence.”

"This brutal shooting to silence Kazakh opposition blogger Aydos Sadykov in the centre of Kyiv must not go unpunished. RSF urges the Kazakh authorities to cooperate with the Ukrainian authorities in a transparent and rigorous investigation to identify those behind this shocking crime and bring all those responsible to justice.

Jeanne Cavelier
Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk

Investigations in Ukraine and Kazakhstan

The Ukrainian police opened a preliminary investigation into the attempted murder on the day the shooting took place On 20 June, they announced the identities of two suspects: Kazakh citizens Altai Zhatkanbayev and Meiram Karataev, and issued an international warrant for their arrest. They arrived in Kyiv on 2 June and left Ukraine immediately after the assassination attempt through Moldova. The Kazakh government has promised to  carry out an investigation and, in accordance with "the directives of the Head of State," the Kazakh prosecutor's office has opened a case for "attempted murder." One of the suspects, Altai Zhatkanbayev, turned himself in to the Kazakh authorities and was taken into custody on 21 June. The second suspect is still at large. The Kazakh government, so far, refused to extradite them, as requested by the Ukrainian judicial authorities.

Aydos Sadykov and Natalya Sadykova have been on Kazakhstan’s wanted list since 23 October 2023 for "inciting hatred.” Despite declarations in favour of press freedom, Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s time in office has been marked by increased censorship of Kazakh media. 

61/ 180
Score : 65
142/ 180
Score : 41.11
Published on