Ilham Karimov was born in 1981 in Jambay (Uzbekistan). Since childhood, he was fond of radio engineering, went in for sports. To help the family, he bred rabbits. Ilham's father was a teacher, his mother works as a seamstress.
Ilham received a secondary specialized education and worked as a glassblower. In 2000, he moved to Russia, to the city of Belebey (Bashkortostan). To support his family in Uzbekistan, including his mother, two sisters and a brother, Ilham worked three jobs, was a carpenter, installer, electrician and handyman. Later, Ilham's entire family was able to reunite in Russia.
In 2001, Ilham, faced with injustice, prayed to God for help and met Jehovah's Witnesses the very next day. Eventually, his mother, sisters, and brother joined him in a Bible study.
After moving to Naberezhnye Chelny, Ilham met Yulia. In 2012, they started a family. Before the sudden arrest, Ilham helped Yulia raise her son, support him in his studies and cycling, the whole family was fond of landscaping the garden plot, spent time with friends and in nature.
The criminal case and the arrest of Ilham plunged his family and friends into a state of shock, as he is well known as a moral and law-abiding person who has nothing to do with extremism. They are convinced that the Russian Constitution should guarantee freedom of religion for all.