Kazakh opposition journalist Aidos Sadykov passed away in Kyiv on Tuesday, July 2, after spending 13 days in a coma following an assassination attempt.

His wife, Natalia Sadykova, announced his death on Facebook, stating, “Aidos Sadykov left us today at 03:00 Kyiv time. My beloved husband, the father of our three children, is a great son of the Kazakh people. Aidos gave his life for Kazakhstan, suffering martyrdom at the hands of killers.”

Natalia Sadykova accused Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of being responsible for her husband's death.

“His death is on Tokayev's conscience,” she wrote.

In response to these allegations, Maulen Ashimbayev, Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, denied any involvement of Kazakh authorities in Sadykov's murder.

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Ashimbayev also stated that Kazakhstan would not extradite a suspect in the attempted murder to Ukraine, citing it as a matter of state principle.

The assassination

Kazakh opposition journalist Aidos Sadykov, 56, was shot by an unknown assailant in Kyiv on Tuesday, June 18.

Preliminary investigation found that an unknown assailant approached a parked car in the Shevchenkivsky district of Kyiv with a man and a woman inside. The attacker fired at the man and then fled the scene. The woman was unharmed.

Ukrainian media later identified the victim as Sadykov. His wife, Nataliya Sadykova, confirmed the attack.

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“Today in Kyiv, near his own house, an attempt was made on [the life of] Aidos Sadykov,” she wrote on Facebook.

On June 21, the Ukrainian police reported that they had identified suspects in the attempted murder of Aidos Sadykov. The suspects are two citizens of Kazakhstan: Meiram Karataev, born in 1991, and Altai Zhatkanbayev, born in 1988.

The men crossed the border into Moldova on the day of the crime, June 18, and are now on the international wanted list.

Altai Zhatkanbayev was detained in Kazakhstan on June 22. He voluntarily approached the internal affairs authorities in Kazakhstan, where he was questioned about the circumstances of the case.

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What is known about Aidos Sadikov?

Aidos Sadykov was sentenced to two years in prison in 2010 on charges of “hooliganism” in Kazakhstan. He was released in 2012, and he and his supporters claimed that the charges were fabricated.

Sadykov led the Aktobe regional branch of the opposition Nationwide Social Democratic Party (OSDP) Azat. After departing from the party, he attempted to establish the opposition civic movement Gastat.

The journalist's family moved to Kyiv from the Kazakh city of Aktobe in 2014 after his wife Nataliya was charged with a crime. They then acquired refugee status in Ukraine.

Last fall, Aidos and Nataliya hosted the BASE YouTube channel critical of the Kazakh government and oligarchs.

Sadykov supported the protests in Kazakhstan in January 2022, during which troops of the Collective Security Treaty Organization were deployed to suppress them.

In October 2023, Sadykov was put on the wanted list in Kazakhstan for allegedly “inciting enmity.”

The journalist’s latest video, titled “The President of Kazakhstan has become a puppet of Russian influence agents,” was published on the day he was shot.

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