The history of Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union began immediately after the October Revolution, with the establishment of Soviet power in Kazakhstan, which was completed in most regions by March 1918. Perovsk, today’s Kyzyl Orda, was the first settlement in the republic where power passed from the former administrators to the hands of workers and the military. It happened on 30 October 1917, and one of the last cities in the country where Soviet power was established was Werny, now Almaty (3 March 1918).
In August 1920 a decree was passed on the foundation of the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic as part of the RSFSR with the capital Orenburg. The following provinces were incorporated into the new republic: Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Turgai, Ural, Bukeyev and Orenburg.
After 5 years, the Kyrgyz ASSR was renamed the Kazakh ASSR, the Syrdarya and Zhetysu regions, once part of the Turkestan ASSR, and the Karakalpak Autonomous Region joined the Republic. The Karakalpak Autonomous Region was later transformed into the Karakalpak ASSR.
The capital of the Kazakh ASSR was Kyzyl Orda. Later (1927) Alma-Ata was granted the status of the capital of Autonomy. In 1936 the Kazakh Autonomous Republic was transformed into the Kazakh SSR by decision of the authorities of that time.
In the late 1930s the process of Industrialisation began in the Republic, which made Kazakhstan one of the largest industrial regions of the USSR. The development of the mining sector was chosen as a priority area for Industrialisation. Over time, Kazakhstan became an important supplier of lead, zinc, titanium, magnesium, tin, phosphorus, chromium, silver and molybdenum for the needs of the defence and technical industries of the USSR.
With the beginning of the fascist aggression, more than 400 factories and plants were moved from the European part of the country to Kazakhstan. New towns and workers’ settlements, factories and mines were built there.
In the construction sites, factories and mines, in addition to the inhabitants of Kazakhstan and the evacuated population, the prisoners of the Gulag Camps and the soldiers of the workers’ troops were used. According to information from military archives, during the war against fascist invaders 12 rifle divisions, 4 national cavalry divisions, 7 rifle brigades from the Republic were sent to the front. In addition, some 50 regiments and battalions of various types of troops were formed in Kazakhstan.
During the war 500 Kazakhs became Heroes of the Soviet Union, more than 100 – full holders of the Order of Fame, four – Talgat Begeldinov, Leonid Beda, Ivan Pavlov and Sergei Lugansky were twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
In 1955, construction of the Baikonur military site for ballistic missile testing began in Kazakhstan. Later the area became the main cosmodrome of the planet. In 1957 the first artificial satellite was launched from Baikonur and 4 years later (1961) the first cosmonaut of the planet – Yuri Gagarin – flew into space from here. After more than half a century Baikonur is still one of the leading cosmodromes, every year there are dozens of rocket launches with astronauts on board.
Also, in the post-war years, the world’s largest nuclear test site was built in Kazakhstan near the city of Semipalatinsk to test the latest nuclear and nuclear weapons. In 1949 the first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1 was tested here.
The experiments conducted caused considerable damage to the ecosystem of the Semipalatinsk region. Therefore, in 1989, activists of the anti-nuclear movement “Nevada – Semey” appealed to the then leadership of the country with the demand to liquidate the site. Another significant event in the recent history of Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union was a large agricultural enterprise associated with the development of unspoiled and unused land. In 1954, at the next General Assembly of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the resolution “On the further increase of grain production in the country and on the development of virgin and unused land” was adopted. More than 597.5 million tonnes of cereals were produced in Kazakhstan during the years when new land was developed. According to the company’s results, the republic became one of the largest grain producers in the world. ⇒ Independence of Kazakhstan