After the Soviet Union was formed, Kazakhstan became autonomous in 1936. Then industrialisation process began and it turned the country into one of the largest industrial regions of the USSR. Mining sector was chosen as a priority direction. Furthermore, Kazakhstan became the prime vendor of lead, zinc, titanium, magnesium, tin, phosphorus, chrome, silver and molybdenum for defense and technical industry needs of the USSR.
From the beginning of fascist aggression over 400 plants and factories from the European part of the USSR were evacuated to Kazakhstan. New cities, working settlements, plants and mines were built. and not only local Kazakhs were working in all of the sites previously mentioned. Evacuated people, imprisoned in forced-labor camps and soldiers of labor armies were sweating their brows all together.
Kazakhstani citizens did not only work on the plants. They showed endurance, courage and heroism on the fronts of the World War II. According to the information from military archives, 12 shooting divisions, 4 national cavalry divisions, 7 shooting crews were sent from Kazakhstan. Moreover, about 50 regiments and battalions of different troop types were formed.
In the years of war of 500 Kazakhstan citizens were honoured as “Heroes of the Soviet Union”, more than 100 – “Award of Glory”. But unfortunately, the nation lost 1.3 million people, which made up 20% of the total population at that time.
One more important thing to note is “Baykonyr” spaceport, world’s first and largest operational space launch facility located in Kazakhstan’s territory. In 1961 the first astronaut of the planet – Yury Gagarin has departed to space from here.