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Kazakhstan: see Nur-SultanNur-Sultan
, formerly Astana
, city (2008 est. pop. 600,000), capital of Kazakhstan, in central Kazakhstan on the Ishim (Esil) River, within but independent of Aqmola prov.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(before 1961, Akmolinsk), a city and the administrative center of Tselinograd Oblast, Kazakh SSR. The city is situated in the northern part of the Kazakh Melkosopochnik, on the right bank of the Ishim River, 222 km northwest of Karaganda. It is a railroad junction for the Trans-Kazakhstan and South Siberian trunk lines, the first linking Petropavlovsk, Tselinograd, Karaganda, and Chu and the second connecting Magnitogorsk, Tselinograd, Pavlodar, and Kulunda. The city has an airport. Its population, 222,000 in 1977, has grown from 31,000 in 1939, 99,000 in 1959, and 180,000 in 1970.

The city was founded in 1830 by Russian troops as the fortress of Akmola, the name being derived from the Kazakh words ak (white) and mola (grave). It became a trading center and stopping place for caravans traveling from Tashkent and Bukhara to European Russia. In 1832 it was designated a town and renamed Akmolinsk, and in 1868 it was made a district capital in Akmolinsk Province (the provincial capital was Omsk).

Soviet power was established in the city on Dec. 25, 1917 (Jan. 7, 1918). Captured by White Guards in June 1918, it was liberated by the Red Army on Nov. 26, 1919. In 1920 it was included in the Kirghiz ASSR, serving as the administrative center of Akmolinsk Province from 1920 to 1928 and of Akmolinsk Okrug from 1928 to 1930. For the next two years it was a raion administrative center directly subordinate to the republic. The city was linked by rail with Petropavlovsk in 1929 and with Karaganda in 1931. Between 1932 and 1939 the city was a raion administrative center in Karaganda Oblast. In 1936 it was included in the Kazakh SSR, becoming the administrative center of Akmolinsk Oblast three years later. In 1954 the city was chosen to be the organizing center of the campaign to develop the virgin lands. From 1960 to 1965 it was the administrative center of Tselinnyi Krai, and since 1965 it has been the administrative center of Tselinograd Oblast.

A major industrial center of northern Kazakhstan, the city has large agricultural machinery plants (Kazakhsel’mash, Tselinogradsel’mash), plants producing pumps and gas appliances, an iron foundry, a railroad car repair plant, and a ceramics combine. The food industry is represented by meat, dairy, and bakery combines and a brewery. The city’s light industry produces porcelain, clothing, and other consumer goods, and its building-materials industry manufactures bricks, reinforced-concrete products, housing components, and asphalt. The city has a heat and electric power plant, and it is connected by power transmission lines with Karaganda, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, and Rudnyi.

The old part of the city has a rectangular layout. Large-scale construction projects were launched in the 1960’s. Under a general plan adopted in 1961–62 (principal architect, G. Ia. Gladshtein), new residential districts, consisting of multistory houses of standard design, have been established on open land southeast of the city. Noteworthy public buildings include the Palace of Virgin Land Workers (Palace of Culture, 1960–64; architects, O. Krauklis, D. Danneberg, and P. Fogel’), the House of Youth (1974; principal architect, A. T. Polianskii), the Ishim Hotel, and the television center.

Tselinograd has institutes of construction engineering, agriculture, medicine, and pedagogy. A specialized secondary education is provided by technicums of railroad and motor vehicle transport, machine building, technology, construction, transport construction, cooperative trade, and finance and economics. The city also has a sovkhoz-technicum, a secondary teacher-training school, and two secondary medical schools. Cultural facilities include a drama theater and an oblast museum of local lore.


Dubitskii, A. F. Gde techet Ishim: Iz istorii Tselinograda i Tselinnogo kraia. Alma-Ata, 1965.
Dosanov, B. Tselinograd. Alma-Ata, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Laszczkowski coins a new term, "spatial intimacy," to refer to an alternative sense of community held by less affluent long-term residents of the old Tselinograd, who have no ambitions of living in the Left Bank, but who feel no less connected to the city.
Cluster 4, the largest group, contains 26 accessions: 10 collected near Tselinograd, Kazakhstan; five near Alma Ata, Kazakhstan; one from Turkey; and 10 from unidentified collection sites within the former USSR.
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To dilute these claims as well as to soothe ethnic Russian fears of Kazakh domination, Nazarbayev has moved the capital from Almaty to Astana (formerly called Akhmola and in the Soviet era known as Tselinograd) further north, which was founded in 1824 and has a Russian majority with just 27% ethnic Kazakhs.