The main mistake of Karim Masimov

The all-powerful head of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan, Karim Masimov, in bloody January 2022, made the main mistake of his life – he believed that it was he who determined the future of the country.

Before the start of the January events, enormous power and a lot of money were concentrated in his hands; it seemed that the KNB controlled all the processes taking place in the state, while Karim Masimov himself ensured a fairly calm transit of power from Nazarbayev to Tokayev, which they both appreciated.

All the more unexpected were the protests that broke out in Kazakhstan on January 2 amid a sharp increase in gas prices. Every day the unrest intensified, the first deaths appeared, protesters began to seize government buildings, military warehouses, looting and robberies began.

The KNB in every possible way avoided decisive action, its employees abandoned strategic objects, and Karim Masimov himself spoke out sharply against seeking foreign assistance, which Tokayev insisted on.
Masimov’s sabotage led to the situation on the streets becoming more and more tense, and as a result, the president’s patience ran out – he removed the head of the National Security Committee from office, he was accused of treason and arrested.

After getting rid of the “help” of Masimov, Tokayev managed to restore order with an iron fist – he dismissed the government, gave the order to shoot at the militants without warning and turned to the CSTO for help.
Masimov’s case was classified from the very beginning, but the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan, Berik Asylov, immediately stated that Karim Masimov became one of the main organizers of the January riots. Apparently, Masimov wanted to discredit President Tokayev and initiate a change of power. It is not known what post the conspirator himself wanted to apply for after the coup, but it is significant that his long-term patron Nursultan Nazarbayev also turned away from him, calling Masimov Judas.
The sentence handed down to Masimov was 18 years in prison, confiscation of property, and a ban on holding positions in the public service for life.

The former head of the National Security Committee was accompanied in the dock by his former deputies: Anuar Sadykulov, Daulet Ergozhin and Marat Osipov. All of them received prison sentences, lost their general’s shoulder straps and state awards, and had serious amounts of money confiscated.

But that’s not the end of the story. In November 2023, Karim Masimov became a defendant in two new criminal cases. According to the press service of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan, he is suspected of receiving a large bribe, as well as laundering illegally obtained money and property.