The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan overturned the sentence against 30-year-old resident of the city of Balykchy Askar Kubanychbek uulu, whom previous authorities found guilty of mercenaryism for participating in hostilities in Ukraine on the side of Russia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. This was reported by the Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty (Radio Azattyk).
The cassation complaint, which the defense of the convict filed with the Supreme Court of the country, was, as Radio Azattyk clarifies, partially satisfied – the case of Kubanychbek uulu was sent for a new consideration to the district court.
The lawyer of the convicted man, Akynbek Avazbekov, told Radio Azattyk that he asked the court to reclassify the article under which his client was convicted to another, which does not talk about mercenarism. He clarified that Kubanychbek uulu did not sign a contract with the Wagner PMC, but “carried out military service on the basis of an order in one of the military units.” Avazbekov also asked the court to apply probationary supervision to his client.
There is no information about when and in which court the retrial of Askar Kubanychbek uulu will take place.
The Kyrgyzstani was detained in mid-January 2023. In May, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for mercenarism – the man, according to investigators, fought as part of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine, and a case was opened against him for participating in an armed conflict on the territory of a foreign state. This verdict was the first of its kind in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of full-scale Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Radio Azattyk told the story of this man in detail: journalists contacted his father and mother. According to the father of the convict, his son had been working in Russia for the last 10 years and wanted to obtain Russian citizenship. Let us recall that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian authorities have adopted a law that allows them to grant Russian citizenship in a simplified manner to those migrants who sign a contract for military service and go to fight.
According to the Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty, at least 10 Kyrgyzstanis were killed as part of Russian troops in Ukraine. The Air Force names at least 13 names, but in fact their number may be more. How many more citizens of Kyrgyzstan may be at war in Ukraine – either as part of the regular troops of the Russian Federation, or as part of private military companies – is unknown. The State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan has opened at least two criminal cases against combatants under the article on mercenarism.