Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

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Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
Казахская Советская Социалистическая Республика
Қазақ Кеңестік Социалистік Республикасы
Soviet Socialist Republic (1936-91)
De facto sovereign entity (1990–91)
Flag (1953–1992) State emblem (1978–1992)
Барлық елдердің пролетарлары, бірігіңдер! (Kazakh)
Barlıq elderdiñ proletarları, birigiñder! (transliteration)
"Workers of all nations, unite!"
Anthem of the Kazakh SSR
Location of the Kazakh SSR (red) within the Soviet Union.
Capital Ast-ana
Languages Kazakh
Government Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party soviet republic (1936-1990)
Unitary Marxist-Leninist presidential republic (1990-1991)
 •  1936–1938 Levon Mirzoyan
 •  1990–1991 Nursultan Nazarbayev
Head of government
 •  1946–1954 Nurtas Undasynov
 •  1989–1991 Uzakbay Karamanov
 •  Elevation to an Union Republic 5 December 1936
 •  Sovereignty declared 25 October 1990
 •  Renamed Republic of Kazakhstan 10 December 1991
 •  Independence declared 16 December 1991
 •  Independence recognized 26 December 1991
 •  New Constitution 30 August 1995
 •  1990 2,717,300 km² (1,049,155 sq mi)
 •  1990 est. 16,711,900 
     Density 6.2 /km²  (15.9 /sq mi)
Calling code +7 31/32/330/33622
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
Today part of  Kazakhstan

The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazakh SSR or KSSR; Kazakh: Қазақ Кеңестік Социалистік Республикасы, Qazaq Keñestik Socïalïstik Respwblïkası; Russian: Казахская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Kazakhskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known by its alternative names of Soviet Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan, was one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union. It was created on December 5, 1936 from the Kazakh ASSR, an autonomous republic of the Russian SFSR.

At 2,717,300 square kilometres (1,049,200 sq mi) in area, it was the second largest republic in the USSR, after the Russian SFSR. Its capital was Alma-Ata (today known as Almaty). Today it is the independent state of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. During its existence as a Soviet republic it was led by the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR.

On October 25, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh SSR declared its sovereignty on its soil. Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected as president – a role he has remained in to this day.

The Soviet republic was renamed the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 10, 1991, which declared its independence six days later, on December 16, 1991. The Soviet Union was disbanded on December 26, 1991 by the Soviet of Nationalities. The Republic of Kazakhstan, the legal successor to the Kazakh SSR, was admitted to the United Nations on March 2, 1992. After the adoption of the new constitution, the state ceased to exist on August 30, 1995.


The country is named after the Kazakh people, Turkic-speaking former nomads who sustained a powerful khanate in the region before Russian and then Soviet domination. The Soviet Union's spaceport, now known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was located in this republic at Tyuratam, and the secret town of Leninsk (now known as Baikonur) was constructed to accommodate its personnel.


Established on August 26, 1920, it was initially called Kirghiz ASSR (Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) and was a part of the Russian SFSR. On April 15–19, 1925, it was renamed Kazak ASSR (subsequently Kazakh ASSR) and on December 5, 1936 it was elevated to the status of a Union-level republic, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.

Between 1932 and 1933, a famine struck Kazakhstan, killing 1.5 million people during the catastrophe of whom 1.3 million were ethnic Kazakhs.

During the 1950s and 1960s Soviet citizens were urged to settle in the Virgin Lands of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The influx of immigrants, mostly Russians, skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. As a result, the use of the Kazakh language declined but has started to pick up again since independence, both as a result of its resurging popularity in law and business and the growing proportion of Kazakhs. The other nationalities included Ukrainians, Germans, Jews, Belarusians, Koreans and others; Germans at the time of independence formed about 8% of the population, the largest concentration of Germans in the entire Soviet Union. Independence has caused many of these newcomers to emigrate.

Following the dismissal of Dinmukhamed Konayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, the riots broke out for four days between December 16 to December 19, 1986 known as Jeltoqsan by student demonstrators in Brezhnev Square in its capital, Alma-Ata. Only 168-200 civilians were killed or executed. The events were then spilled over to Shymkent, Pavlodar, Karaganda and Taldykorgan.

On March 25, 1990, Kazakhstan held its first elections with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the chairman of the Supreme Soviet was elected as its first president. Later that year on October 25, it then declared sovereignty. The republic participated in a referendum to preserve the union in a different entity with 94.1% voted in favor. It did not happened when hardline communists in Moscow took control of the government in August. Nazarbayev then condemned the failed coup.

As a result of those events, the Kazakh SSR was renamed to the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 10, 1991. It became independent on December 16 (the fifth anniversary of Jeltosqan), becoming the last republic to secede. Its capital was the site of the Alma-Ata Protocol on December 21, 1991 that dissolved the Soviet Union and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States in its place which Kazakhstan joined. The Soviet Union officially ceased to exist as a sovereign state on December 26, 1991 and Kazakhstan became an internationally recognized independent state.

On August 30, 1995, the new Constitution of Kazakhstan was officially adopted.


According to the 1897 census, the earliest census taken in the region, Kazakhs constituted 81.7% of the total population (3,392,751 people) within the territory of contemporary Kazakhstan. The Russian population in Kazakhstan was 454,402, or 10.95% of total population; there were 79,573 Ukrainians (1.91%); 55,984 Tatars (1.34%); 55,815 Uyghurs (1.34%); 29,564 Uzbeks (0.7%); 11,911 Mordovans (0.28%); 4,888 Dungan (0.11%); 2,883 Turkmen; 2,613 Germans; 2,528 Bashkir; 1,651 Jews; and 1,254 Poles.

Kazakhstan demographics 1897-1970. Major ethnic groups. Famines of 1920s and 1930s are marked with shades.
Nationality 1926 1939 1959 1970 1979 1989
Kazakh 58.5 37.8 30.0 32.6 36.0 40.1
Russian 18.0 40.2 42.7 42.4 40.8 37.4
Ukrainian 13.88 10.7 8.2 7.2 6.1 5.4
Belarusian 0.51 1.2 1.5 1.2 1.1 0.8
German 0.82 1.50 7.1 6.6 6.1 5.8
Tatar 1.29 1.76 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.0
Uzbek 2.09 1.96 1.5 1.7 1.8 2.0
Uyghur 1.01 0.58 0.6 0.9 1.0 1.1
Korean 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6

Table: Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan (census data)[1]


One of the greatest factors that shaped the ethnic composition of Kazakhstan was 1920s and 1930s famines, caused by Collectivization in the Soviet Union. According to different estimates only in famine of 1930s, up to 40% of Kazakhs (indigenous ethnic group) either died of starvation or fled the territory.[2] Official government census data report the contraction of Kazakh population from 3.6 million in 1926, to 2.3 million in 1939.


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