Kazakhstan History

Kazakhstan History

Early to modern times

Remains of human settlement have been found in the vastness of Kazakhstan since the Paleolithic Age. However, the country’s history does not begin until the end of the 5th century AD, when the local nomads came under the rule of Turkic peoples. In the 10th century, Kazakhstan became part of the Karachanid Empire, a Turkish dynasty that ruled the region from the 9th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, Mongols conquered the country under the leadership of Genghis Khan and established the empire of the Golden Horde, which also encompassed large parts of Siberia until the beginning of the 15th century. When the power of the Mongol Empire vanished, the Kazakhs managed toto break away from the Uzbek khanate (this means Muslim principalities as successors to the Mongol Empire) and to found their own khanate from three hordes: the small horde in the west, the large horde in the east and the medium horde in the center of Kazakhstan. Shortly afterwards, the first state formation took place under the khanate of Kasim Khan.

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However, repeated raids by invading Mongols eventually led to individual Kazakh leaders coming under Russian protection in the middle of the 18th century, which over the years put the entire country under Russian control.

Tsarist rule and communist era

In 1868 Kazakhstan was annexed to the Russian Empire. An uprising in 1916 was bloodily suppressed and from 1917 the planned industrialization of the country began by the Russians, who soon – attracted by well-paid jobs – provided almost half of the population. In 1920 the Kyrgyz ASSR (autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) was formed and in 1924 the areas of Syrdarja and the Siebenstromland were added. In 1925 the country was renamed the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Republic (ASSR). Comprehensive collectivization in agriculture should make the nomadic Kazakh people sedentary (also with the help of coercive measures). Many Kazakhs fled to neighboring China or slaughtered their cattle, which led to severe famines in the early 1930s.In 1936, the Kazakh Republic became a full member of the Soviet Union. During the Second World War,

In 1954, a large-scale campaign to redevelop agricultural land began under the Soviet President Khrushchev. As part of these measures, numerous Russian and other immigrants mostly came to Kazakhstan as forced settlers and made the residents a minority in their own country. At the same time, a nuclear test site of the Soviet Union was founded in Kazakhstan, on which more than 500 above-ground and underground nuclear weapons tests were carried out from 1949.


In 1990 Kazakhstan declared sovereignty within the USSR. According to AbbreviationFinder, Nursultan Ä. Nazarbayev became head of state. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan declared independence in December 1991.

The nuclear weapons in the country were scrapped and the nuclear test site near Semipalatinsk was closed. Despite independence, the close economic ties with Russia remained. A non-aggression pact with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been concluded and troops at the borders have been reduced. In May 2001, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan concluded a security pact and set up a joint intervention force.

Nazarbayev had been confirmed as head of state after independence; 1995 re-election. The President’s powers were expanded by the new constitution of September 1995. Nazarbayev tried to make the country economically independent by privatizing the large state-owned companies. At his initiative, the capital was moved from Almaty to Astana in 1997. In 1999 he won another landslide in the presidential election; however, the OSCE expressed great doubts as to its legality, as the most promising challenger had been excluded from the candidacy because of an alleged violation of the electoral law. The presidential elections in 2005 and 2011 (Nazarbayev was reaffirmed) also only partially met the standards of the OSCE. The murder of opposition politician Altynbek Sarsenbajew caused a sensation in February 2006.

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In his foreign policy, Nazarbayev tries to balance cooperation with the West while maintaining good relations with Russia. In domestic politics, he manages to convert the wealth of resources into increasing prosperity, at least in the cities. However, political reforms are neglected and only a small elite benefits from gas and oil resources. The human rights organization Amnesty International has reported torture in police custody and systematic repression of political opponents in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan President