30-year-old Kyrgyzstani Ayan Alisherov, who was imprisoned in Russia, died on November 24, 2022 in a battle near Bakhmut. Relatives report that he did not receive Russian citizenship, Radio Azattyk writes.
The body of Ayan Alisherov, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, was delivered to his native village of Rakhmanzhan, Nooken district, on January 22. The funeral took place on January 23rd.
In 2019, Alisherov was detained in Moscow on suspicion of “kidnapping” and “extortion”. His mother, Rakhatai Abdivaliyeva, told RFE/RL that she did not understand how her son, from prison in Russia, got to the war in Ukraine.
“My son was imprisoned on false charges. I participated in the trial. At the last meeting, he declared his innocence and asked the court to acquit him. He was sentenced to seven years, he was serving a term in a prison in Mordovia. We periodically talked on the phone. he called me and said that he was returning to Kyrgyzstan, that he would be released in six months, he planned to marry. Probably, he did not tell me about the war so that I would not worry. I do not understand how he got to Ukraine. I came to Moscow to find out “, – said Abdivalieva.
According to her, she applied several times to the Kyrgyz Embassy in Russia with a request to extradite Ayan Alisherov to serve time in his homeland.
Saltanat Mitieva, who works as an interpreter in the trials of citizens of Kyrgyzstan in Russia, told the Super Info newspaper that in June 2022 a decision was made to extradite Ayan Alisherov to Kyrgyzstan. However, it is unknown if this solution was implemented.
“No one can forcibly send those who are in Russian prisons to war. Perhaps the young man could be deceived, promising to release him earlier if he participates in the war,” Mitieva suggests.
Azattyk appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office to clarify information about the extradition of Ayan Alisherov to Kyrgyzstan. However, the press secretary of the oversight body, Sirojiddin Kamolidinov, said that information about individuals is not given to journalists and is provided only to relatives.
There is a publication on the website of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan that the case on the extradition of Ayan Alisherov to Kyrgyzstan will be considered, but there is no information on whether the case was considered and what decision was made.
Thus, it remains a mystery how 30-year-old Ayan Alisherov, who is serving a sentence in Russia, ended up in the war in Ukraine.
PMC “WAGNER”, OR BAIT FREEDOM
In one of the telephone conversations with his relatives, Ayan said that representatives of the private military company Wagner came to the prison where he was serving his sentence. However, then Alisher did not announce his intention to join the PMC. After that, he did not call his relatives. The fact that he died in battle in Ukraine near the city of Bakhmut on November 24, 2022, his relatives learned almost two months later.
Rakhatai Abdivalieva said she had not spoken to her son since October, when he said he was being transferred to Kyrgyzstan.
“After that, there was no news from my son. We didn’t have any connection. I thought that he was being transported by stage, stopping in every city along the way, so he couldn’t contact us. And on January 22, his body was brought in. They brought him in a coffin. He looked like my son, but I can’t help thinking that maybe they brought the body of someone else who looked like my son,” the woman says.
According to Rakhatai Abdivalieva, before leaving for Russia, Ayan served in a military unit in the city of Karakul. Currently, a woman with a document about the death of her son in the war in Ukraine intends to bypass the relevant authorities in Moscow in search of answers. According to the information in this document, Ayan Alisherov died on November 24 last year near the city of Bakhmut (Artyomovsk).
According to the representative office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan in Moscow, there are about 2,000 Kyrgyz citizens in Russian prisons, 30% of them are women. In particular, 1,001 people are in pretrial detention centers, another 1,078 are in places of deprivation of liberty. More than one million citizens of Kyrgyzstan are labor migrants in Russia.
In August 2022, it became known that the Wagner PMC, which was participating in the war with Ukraine, began to recruit Russian prisoners into its formations. The convicts are offered pardon after six months of service and cash payments. The recruitment involves businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in September admitted his involvement in the creation of the PMC.
In early January, Prigozhin announced that the first group of Russian prisoners recruited to participate in the war had completed a six-month contract and had all criminal records removed from them.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs put on the wanted list six members of the Wagner PMC who escaped from a training camp in the annexed Luhansk region of Ukraine. Before arriving at the training center, they were held in custody in Russia. A fragment of the orientation was published by Donday. It indicated that the convicts fled on December 21-22, among them were citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, three citizens of Uzbekistan and one citizen of Russia.
PMC Wagner is a Russian unofficial military unit that does not appear on the balance sheet of the military departments and in the register of legal entities, but its fighters, according to numerous journalistic investigations, take part in Russian ground operations in Syria, Africa and in the war in Ukraine.
On January 27, the United States declared Wagner PMC a transnational criminal organization and imposed new sanctions on Russian representatives.
The Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic provides for liability for participation in armed conflicts, including as a mercenary, on the territory of other states, as well as organizing, financing or recruiting people for these purposes. Earlier, the authorities of Kyrgyzstan repeatedly warned about this and urged their citizens not to take part in military conflicts on the territory of foreign countries.
On January 12, the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan announced the detention of a citizen of Kyrgyzstan on suspicion of participating in the war on the territory of Ukraine.
This is not the first case of the death of a Kyrgyzstani in the war in Ukraine in the ranks of the Russian army. Two citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic who fought in Ukraine on the side of the Russian army, as well as several Kyrgyz citizens who previously received Russian citizenship, are buried in Kyrgyzstan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan has repeatedly declared its neutral position on the war in Ukraine.
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