Dinmukhamed Akhmetuly "Dimash" Kunaev (Kazakh: Дінмұхаммед (Димаш) Ахметұлы Қонаев, Dіnmuhammed (Dımash) Ahmetuly Qonaev; Russian: Динмухаммед Ахмедович Кунаев; 12 January 1912 [O.S. 31 December 1911] – 22 August 1993) was a Kazakh Soviet communist politician.
|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan|
7 December 1964 – 16 December 1986
|Preceded by||Ismail Yusupov|
|Succeeded by||Gennady Kolbin|
19 January 1960 – 26 December 1962
|Preceded by||Nikolay Belyayev|
|Succeeded by||Ismail Yusupov|
|Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR|
26 December 1962 – 7 December 1964
|Preceded by||Masymkhan Beysembayev|
|Succeeded by||Masymkhan Beysembayev|
31 March 1955 – 29 January 1960
|Preceded by||Elubay Taibekov|
|Succeeded by||Zhumabek Tashenev|
|Full member of the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th Politburo|
9 April 1971 – 28 January 1987
|Candidate member of the 23rd Politburo|
8 April 1966 – 9 April 1971
|Born||12 January 1912|
Verny, Semirechye Oblast, Russian Empire
|Died||22 August 1993 (aged 81)|
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
Kunaev, the son of a Kazakh clerk, was born at Verny, now Almaty, and grew up in a middle-income family. He graduated from the Institute of Non-Ferrous and Fine Metallurgy in Moscow in 1936, which enabled him to become a machine operator. By 1939 he had become engineer-in-chief of the Pribalkhashatroi mine, and joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), a condition of the position.
Kunaev was deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR from 1942 to 1952. In 1947, 1951, 1955 and 1959 he also was a deputy in the Kazakh SSR Supreme Soviet. Kunaev's rise in Communist Party ranks had been closely tied to that of Leonid Brezhnev's. Khrushchev appointed Panteleymon Ponomarenko as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, and Leonid Brezhnev as the second secretary, in February 1954. Soon, Kunaev and Brezhnev developed a close friendship which lasted until the death of Brezhnev. Brezhnev became the first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan in 1955 and a member of CPSU Politburo in 1956. When Brezhnev left Kazakhstan in 1956, I. Iakovlev became the First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party. Kunaev had to wait until 1960 to attain the post.
Kunaev was an ardent supporter of the Virgin Lands campaign, which opened millions of hectares of lands in central Kazakhstan to agricultural development and caused a large influx of Russian immigrants into Kazakhstan. In 1962 he was dismissed from his position as he disagreed with Khrushchev's plans to incorporate some lands in Southern Kazakhstan into Uzbekistan. Ismail Yusupov, a supporter of the plan, replaced Kunaev. He became first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan again in 1964 when Khrushchev was ousted and replaced by Brezhnev. He kept his position for twenty-two more years. He was an alternate member of the Politburo from 1967, and a full member from 1971 to 1987.
During Kunaev's long rule, Kazakhs occupied prominent positions in the bureaucracy, economy and educational institutions. A Brezhnev loyalist, he was removed from office under pressure from Mikhail Gorbachev, who accused him of corruption. On 16 December 1986 the Politburo replaced him with Gennady Kolbin, who had never lived in the Kazakh SSR before. This provoked street riots in Almaty, which were the first signs of ethnic strife during Gorbachev's tenure. In modern Kazakhstan, this revolt is called Jeltoqsan, meaning December in Kazakh.
Kunaev was awarded the Gold Star of Hero of Socialist Labour three times. He spent the last years of his life in charitable activity, establishing the 'Dinmukhamed Kunaev Foundation', one of whose purposes was the support of political reform in Kazakhstan. An institute and a street in Almaty have been named after him as well as an avenue in downtown Astana.
- Vronskaya, Jeanne (24 August 1993) "Obituary: Dinmukhamed Kunayev". The Independent London, Gazette Section, p. 18.
- Dornberg, John (1991) Brezhnev: the Masks of Power, London: Andre Deutsch, ISBN 0465007562, p. 133.
- Kunaev, Dinmukhammed (1992) O Moem Vremeni, Almaty: Dauir.
- Drexel, John (1991) "Kunayev, Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich (1912– )" The Facts on File Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century Facts on File, New York, ISBN 0-8160-2461-8
- "Memorial plaque put up in Alma-Ata for ex-communist boss" ITAR-TASS news agency: BBC Summary of World Broadcasts British Broadcasting Company (16 January 1995)
- Putz, Catherine (16 December 2016). "1986: Kazakhstan's Other Independence Anniversary". The Diplomat. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Kazakh Reformist Party for Renaming Town after Soviet-era Leader" Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire British Broadcasting Company (23 August 2004)
- Ardayev, Vladimir (Izvestia staff) (24 August 1993) "Dinmukhamed Kunayev Dies" The Current Digest of the Soviet Press 45(34): p. 28
- Айкын. "105 years since the birth of Dinmukhamed Kunayev". library.kz. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
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