Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kazakhstan Investigates Drowning Of Four Soldiers In Training Exercise

Authorities in Kazakhstan say that they are investigating the drowning of four Kazakh soldiers during an ill-fated military exercise on the Caspian Sea.

Defense Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov visited the Caspian city of Aqtau on September 19, where an amphibious landing exercise went wrong on September 18.

He reportedly relieved four regional military officials of their duties.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's military prosecutor has opened an investigation into the deaths of the soldiers, who all drowned when four BTR-80 armored personnel carriers sank in rough waters during the attempted amphibious landing.

A Defense Ministry statement said initial findings suggest the drownings were the results of "a poor decision when practicing an amphibious landing in the absence of landing equipment."

Three of the soldiers -- identified as Bauyrzhan Zholdabay, Asylzhan Makhambetov, and Bagytzhan Kalybay -- were 19 years old.

The fourth soldier who drowned, Amir Adylov, was 23.

With reporting by AFP
  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service offers informed and accurate reporting in the Kazakh and Russian languages about issues that matter in Kazakhstan, while providing a dynamic platform for audience engagement and the free exchange of news and ideas.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.