Kazakhstani authorities go after those who fought in Ukraine

Senior news correspondent
National Security Committee has been investigating several suspects who allegedly fought in Ukraine
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The National Security Committee (KNB) of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been investigating ten cases of the country’s citizens taking part in the war in Ukraine. The agency hasn’t revealed any details of pre-trial investigations.

KNB has also refused to specify how many Kazakhstanis left for Ukraine after February 24, 2022. This data is tracked by the Committee on Legal Statistics and Special Accounts under the Office of Prosecutor General.

In early April 2023, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vasilenko told Al Jazeera that the country considers illegal any involvement of its citizens in armed conflicts in foreign countries.

«If someone decides to do so, he will be punished by law. We aren’t going to encourage mercenaries,» the official said.

Vasilenko also noted that Kazakhstan hasn’t recognized the Kherson, Lugansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhya regions of Ukraine as new Russian territories. On September 30, 2022, President Vladimir Putin declared these four regions as part of Russia.

At the same time, the deputy foreign minister said that Kazakhstan maintains a multi-vector foreign policy, pursuing good relations with Russia, China and the West.

On February 24, 2022, Russia unleashed a full-scale war against Ukraine. At the time, Putin recognized the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic as independent states. He said that the key goal of the Russian invasion is the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. According to some estimates, the two sides have already suffered tens of thousands of casualties.

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