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Yulia Vladimirovna Tymoshenko

Yulia Vladimirovna TymoshenkoTymoshenko

Nursultan Nazarbayev


  • President of Kazakhstan
  • Degree in Metallurgical Engineering
  • Place of birth: Chemolgan
  • Date of birth: July 6, 1940

He has governed Kazakhstan, the economic powerhouse in Central Asia, since its independence in 1991. During his presidency, he was able to use Kazakhstan’s petrodollars to quickly modernize the country, relocate the capital, and build a multiethnic and multicultural state. But Nazarbayev is essentially a democratically elected dictator. By Roy Yu

Nazarbayev was born to a poor family in Chemolgan, a rural town near the former capital of the country, Almaty. His father worked for a wealthy local family until the family’s farm was confiscated as a result of Stalin’s collectivization policy during the 1930s.

Nazarbayev first rose to power in 1984, working as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, under Dinmukhamed Kunayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan SSR. Only five years later, he was able to replace Kunayev, a position he held for two years, until 1991. On December 1, 1991, he won the presidential election, thus making him the first president of the newly independent state of Kazakhstan.

Thanks to the discovery of oil reserves in Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev has been able to quickly modernize the country, building modern skyscrapers, promoting education and literacy rates, encouraging women to participate in politics, allowing different ethnicities to peacefully coexist in the country etc.

Despite his achievement, in December 2011, the Mangystau and Zhanaozen riots were described by the West as the two biggest opposition movements during his years in office. During the demonstrations in Zhanaozen, an oil town, 15 people were shot dead while hundreds were wounded. The West and some members of the government have also claimed that Nazarbayev has only provided lip-service to fight corruption. His family, in particular, is the target of massive corruption allegations.

In April 1995, a referendum was held and passed, extending his term until 2000. He was subsequently re-elected in January 1999 and again in December 2005. International election watchdogs have claimed that these elections do not meet democratic election standards. In May 2007, the Parliament of Kazakhstan approved a constitutional amendment that would allow Nazarbayev to seek re-election as many times as he wishes. That being said, this amendment applies only to him and not to future presidents of the country.


  • 1960-1977: Intermittently worked as a steelworker and engineer at the Karaganda plant
  • 1972-1976: Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of the Karanganda Metallurgical Kombinat
  • 1976-1984: Second Secretary of Karaganda Regional Party Committee
  • 1979: Became a full member of the Kazakhstan Politburo
  • 1984-1989: Chairman of the Council of Minister
  • 1989-1991: First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan Soviet Socialist Republic
  • 1990: Elected president of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic by the Kazakh Supreme Soviet
  • 1991-present: The President of Kazakhstan (elected by the people in 1991, reelected 1999, 2005 and 2011)
  • 1995: Nazarbayev's term extended to 2000 by referendum
  • 2007: Constitutional amendment exempts Nazarbayev from term limits
  • 2010: Parliament named Nazarbayev "Leader of the Nation," gave him the right to approve important national and foreign policies after he retires and grants him lifetime immunity from prosecution for acts committed during his rule


Website of the President (Kaz/Rus/Eng)

Personal website (Kaz/Rus/Eng)

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