Pop music producer and actress Bayan Yessentayeva may not be the most beloved celebrity in Kazakhstan, but even detractors admire her seemingly effortless glamor and icy determination.
That studied image of invulnerability was rudely shattered earlier this month when reports emerged she had, like many of her countrywomen, became a victim of chilling domestic violence.
Suspecting infidelity, Bakhytbek Yessentayev savagely beat his wife, leaving her with injuries to her skull and stab wounds. The case provoked considerable shock, although not much surprise, given how common the problem is in Kazakhstan.
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Aktan Rysaliev is a pseudonym for a journalist working in Almaty, Kazakhstan.