Home News Killing of Kazakh journalist chills Ukrainian exiles

Killing of Kazakh journalist chills Ukrainian exiles


A small crowd of mourners gathered on Friday for the funeral of Aidos Sadykov, a Kazakh opposition activist and YouTuber who was assassinated in Kiev, Ukraine, in a murder that colleagues said has chilled journalists and exiles in Ukraine and across the region.

Sadykov, 55, a former opposition politician and trade unionist, lived in Ukraine after fleeing his native Kazakhstan with his family a decade ago, where he was granted political asylum and ran a widely followed YouTube channel with his wife, reporting on events in Kazakhstan.

He was shot outside his home last month and died earlier this week from his wounds. His widow, journalist Natalia Sadykova, blamed her husband’s death on Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

“Aidos gave his life for Kazakhstan. He died a heroic death at the hands of assassins,” she said. On her Facebook page she wroteannouncing his death. “For 13 days, Aidos fought with death in the intensive care unit, but no miracle happened. His death made Tokayev feel guilty.”

The Kazakh president did not directly respond to Ms Sadikova’s allegations. Announce Soon after the shooting, he ordered officials to learn the details of the incident and to provide Ukraine with investigative assistance if necessary.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general has named two Kazakh citizens as suspects in the shooting. Announce The case was a murder. Prosecutors said the two men fled the country via neighboring Moldova.

It is reported that one of the suspects surrendered after returning to Kazakhstan and is currently under interrogation. A statement The Kazakh Prosecutor’s Office arrested a second suspect who remains at large.

Ms. Seidekova was sitting in her husband’s car as they drove into their yard on June 18. In an interview, she said she saw a man with a silenced pistol opening fire on the car. She said he shot her husband in the head through the windshield.

Mr. Sadykov was taken to hospital, where he was in a coma for two weeks before dying from his injuries. He leaves behind a wife and three children, aged 13, 12 and five.

Sadykov was an outspoken critic of the government of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, and had long been active in organizing strikes and protests, especially by oil workers. Friends who attended the funeral said his YouTube channel, called Base (pronounced Ba-zay), which had more than a million subscribers, was a source of discontent for the government.

Vladimir Kozlov, a former political prisoner in Kazakhstan, said many fans inside Kazakhstan would send Sadykov and Sadykova videos of protests and police violence to post on their channels, undermining official coverage of events.

Refat Chubarov, leader of Ukraine’s Crimean Tatar movement, spoke at a funeral at a Muslim community center in a southwestern suburb of Kiev and suggested the real culprit was Russian President Vladimir Putin. Crimean Tatars suffered centuries of oppression under Moscow’s rule, with most forced to relocate to Central Asia in the 1940s.

“Aidos was murdered by people who did not want Kazakhstan to be free and independent,” he said, standing beside Sadykov’s body, which lay in a wooden coffin covered with a green and gold cloth. “He was murdered in our country. Only those who wanted to destroy us all could do such a thing. I don’t know who did it, but it’s clear that the murderer was an enemy of all of us and came from one center, Moscow.”

He said the killing was a signal to all Kazakhs, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and the wider community: “All those who think this war will not affect them should think again.”

International journalists organizations condemned the killing and called for a full investigation.

“Journalists must be able to work freely without fear of reprisals and the killing of Eddoes while in asylum is highly suspicious. Those responsible must be held accountable,” Antoine Bélanger, secretary general of the International Federation of Journalists, said in a statement.

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