22-year-old Levan Kogeashvili has been laid to rest in an Ashdod cemetery following much effort to return his body to Israel. He was killed by gunfire on January 7 during a violent protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan, while on the way to work, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry. He was taken to a hospital but attempts to revive him failed.
Kogeashvili was raised in Ashdod, but completed his secondary studies in Kazakhstan. He leaves behind his Jewish Kazakhstani wife and their 8-month-old son, who was injured on the way but is currently recovering in an Israeli hospital.
A statement from Kogeashvili’s family said that they would like to emphasize “our appreciation to our friends, the Israeli Consul in Kazakhstan Ms. Galina Frenkel, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Sima Duvdevani, the Kazakh Ambassador to Israel Mr. Stibaldi Borshkov and Mr. Eli Nacht Deputy Mayor of Ashdod for their assistance.”
Kazakhstan has been in a state of civil unrest since January 3, in response to price caps being removed from butane and propane on January 1. The reforms added to disquiet over COVID-19 restrictions, corruption and economic issues.
According to the Kazakhstani Interior Ministry, by last Friday, at least 26 Kazakhstani citizens and 18 police and national guard service members were killed in the unrest.
At the request of the Kazakhstan government, Russian military forces were deployed into Kazakhstan to help restore public order last week, and a day later, Reuters reported that peace was mostly restored.
Michael Starr and Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.