The capital of Kazakhstan has changed its name

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The issue of renaming the capital of Kazakhstan was considered early

Photo: Valery BUTAEV

The authorities of Kazakhstan decided to change the name of the capital again: after the President of the country, Kasim-Jomart Tokaev, signed the relevant decree, the city of Nur-Sultan became Astana again.

– Change the name of Nur-Sultan, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This decree will come into force from the day of its first official publication, – said the official document.

Consideration of the issue of renaming the capital was carried out quickly: at the beginning of September, the initiative was put forward by a group of representatives of the Kazakh Parliament, soon it was considered by the Constitutional Council (including, among others, Nursultan Nazarbayev himself, whose name the city bears), and some of the relevant decrees days later.

At the same time, many objects bearing the name of the country’s first president remain in Kazakhstan: parks, a university, a peak in the Tien Shan mountain range, an oil and gas field, roads – all of them still bear Nazarbayev’s name.

Astana received its current name in 1998, on the eve of the city’s international introduction as the new capital of Kazakhstan. Before this, the capital of the republic was in Alma-Ata and Astana was called Akmola.

In Soviet times (since 1961), the city was called Tselinograd, and before that – Akmola.

In 2019, the current President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zomart Tokayev, after taking office, proposed to retain Nazarbayev’s name in the city’s name. Three years later, he signed a decree returning the capital to its old name.


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