Knife Wounds and Cigarette Marks: Mother of Soldier from Kokshetau Claims Son was Killed

cover  Photo: from the archives of Almas Shakhimov’s family

Two years ago, the relatives of the conscript soldier Almas Shakhimov could not believe what had happened to him. In December 2023, they decided to exhume his body. Six months later, the results of the examination became known. Many injuries were discovered, as well as signs of asphyxia. Shakhimov’s mother shared details with an Orda.kz correspondent.

Soldier Almas Shakhimov served in military unit 5571 of the National Guard in Almaty. In August 2022, two months after conscription, his parents were informed of his death. The official cause of death is an accident.

On the day of the incident, Shakhimov was at the training ground where exercises were being held. The unit's leadership has claimed the soldier helped his colleagues get to safety. He, however, died under a metal structure that fell due to a strong sandstorm.

Last December, Almas's parents exhumed his body to understand how their son died. The results of the medical examination became known at the end of May.

“At first, we were against exhumation. At the time, we had a lot of evidence that would have allowed us not to do the exhumation. Among Kazakhs, it is forbidden to disturb the body of the deceased. But the military destroyed all the evidence: my son’s uniform was destroyed, as well as the video recordings at the training ground,”Indira Tuganbaeva, told an Orda.kz correspondent.
 Almas with his mother I. Tuganbayeva

Indira Taugambayeva chose not to disclose details due to an investigation being underway. She did share that the examination revealed that her son had knife wounds and other injuries.

Three stab wounds were found on the right side (on the arm, knee, and foot), signs of asphyxia, and 26 injuries. His kidneys were damaged, his skull was damaged, cigarettes were put out on his back, says Indira Tuganbayeva.

Indira Tuganbayeva says that an officer took out a loan under her son's name immediately after he was conscripted. Almas was under his command.

Almas was conscripted into the army immediately after undergoing eye surgery. And this despite the fact that the (medical - Ed.) discharge record stated that he was not allowed to engage in physical activity for six months. On May 27, he was taken away. On the 28th, they left for Almaty. On the 29th, he was already in military unit 5571 in Almaty. On May 30, the first loan was already issued to him, she explained.

Tuganbayeva recalls that on July 8, they attended Almas's oath of allegiance ceremony in Almaty. The woman spoke to the military unit's leadership about how the officers were forcing him to take out loans.

“I spoke with my son and a higher commander then. They asked not to complain to higher leadership because “it would be difficult for my son there.” My son also insisted that I not get worked up over this incident. Five months later, one of the officers, Aytugan Yerzhan, reported that the officer, at that time senior lieutenant Yerbolat Shanazar, took out these loans. Shanazar himself was my son's direct commander. He also admitted that he took out loans. We have his statements. After this incident, they took out a loan again in the name of (my - Ed.) son for 280,000 tenge. This Shanazar, as it turns out, is a gambler. He used my son's card. says Indira Tuganbayeva.

Almas Shakhimov's family has been seeking justice for two years. According to his mother, the military offered her financial compensation for the death of her only son: money, an apartment, and arrangements for her daughters to study.

Most recent photo of Almas 

The National Guard wanted to issue the posthumous award “For Courage” to Almas Shakhimov, but his relatives refused to accept it. They are sure that their son died not while saving others from the storm but from being physically assaulted.

In December 2023, a different conscript soldier of the National Guard, Yerbayan Mukhtar, was injured in the same military unit. The conscript served less than 3 months. He has been in a coma for six months, his condition is severe. The leadership of the military unit claims that he sustained a head injury after falling in a restroom. His relatives have demanded a full investigation. 

Orda.kz has sent inquiries to the military prosecutor's office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs overseeing the National Guard. We have asked what is happening now with the investigations into the incidents involving Almas Shakhimov and Yerbayan Mukhtar, whether these cases would be reclassified as criminal, and whether there are suspects. We have not yet received answers. By law, they must be provided within two weeks.

Original Author: Aliya Askarova

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy. The original article was published on 07/06/24. Current information was added at the end of the article.