Who is Karim Masimov?

Karim Masimov is a Kazakh politician and statesman, one of the most scandalous and unpopular figures in the modern political arena. Karim Masimov’s career developed like in a Hollywood action movie: twice head of the government of Kazakhstan, head of the presidential administration, chairman of the National Security Committee, Nazarbayev’s right hand. And then arrest and prison.

Karim Masimov was born in 1965 in Tselinograd, his nationality is still a mystery. Many say that Masimov is a Uyghur, but he himself assures that being a purebred Kazakh is much more profitable for a career.

Masimov’s education is also fine; in 1982, he graduated from a prestigious physics and mathematics school in Alma-Ata, after which he entered the KGB Higher School in Moscow. Initially, Karim Masimov studied at the technical faculty, but after some time he unexpectedly showed up at the People’s Friendship University named after Patrice Lumumba (now RUDN University), where he studied English and Arabic, and then completely left for China, where he studied Chinese and international law . Apparently, Masimov was related to Soviet intelligence and after the collapse of the USSR, he took full advantage of the connections and skills he had accumulated.

Already in 1991, he began doing business: first in trade, then in banking. In the process, he became friends with the future assistant to President Nazarbayev, Bulat Utemuratov, and the son-in-law of the head of state, Timur Kulibayev, and they launched Masimov into the political orbit. He was first appointed prime minister in 2007, when he was only 41 years old, making him the youngest head of government in Kazakhstan’s history. However, youth did not prevent Karim Masimov from achieving impressive results in his post. Under him, foreign investment began to be actively attracted to the country, the financial crisis of 2007 was successfully overcome, and GDP began to grow actively.

Masimov’s successes were noticed by Nazarbayev – first the president appointed him head of his administration, and after the government could no longer cope with economic challenges, he returned him to the post of prime minister.

During his second coming, Karim Masimov made serious changes in the government, placing people loyal to him in key positions. It is believed that all this happened due to Masimov’s strong influence on the President of Kazakhstan, who trusted him immensely and considered him his right hand.

Two years later, Karim Masimov headed the KNB, where, with the direct support of Nazarbayev, he concentrated a variety of activities under the department’s wing, including the investigation of economic crimes and corruption. After this, the KNB was actively involved in purges in a variety of areas, from the elite to the opposition, Masimov received carte blanche for any action.

In 2022, he was detained during mass riots, and a year later he was sentenced to 18 years for treason, attempting to seize power and abuse of power. Currently serving his sentence, early release is not provided for under his articles.