Soviet and Kazakhstani general who served as Chairman of Kazakhstan's State Defense Committee in 1991-1992 and Kazakhstan's first Minister of Defense

Sagadat Kozhahmetovich Nurmagambetov is a retired Soviet and Kazakhstani general who served as Chairman of Kazakhstan's State Defense Committee in 1991-1992 and Kazakhstan's first Minister of Defence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, holding the office of Defence Minister from May 1992 to November 1995. He was an adviser to Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1995-1996.
Nurmagambetov began his military career as a machine gun platoon commander in the Red Army in World War II. He was promoted to machine gun company and infantry battalion commander, winning the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union in February 1945. His battalion went on to storm the Reich Chancellory at the Battle of Berlin in April 1945.
Nurmagambetov graduated from the Frunze Military Academy after World War II and rose to become one of the highest-ranked Kazakh officers in the peacetime Soviet Army, attaining the rank of colonel-general. He retired from the military of Kazakhstan as an army general in 1995.
Sagadat Nurmagambetov was named a People's Hero of Kazakhstan in 1994, becoming the first Kazakhstani to receive this honor.
Sagadat Nurmagambetov was born on 25 May 1924 in the settlement of  Kosym in the Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Russian SFSR (later Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic), now in the Akmola Province in Kazakhstan.
Sagadat Nurmagambetov joined the Red Army in 1942. He received accelerated machine gunn officer's training at the 1st Turkestan Machine Gun School in Kushka, Turkmen SSR (now Serhetabat in Turkmenistan) and was sent to the front lines of the Eastern Front of World War II in April 1943.
Nurmagambetov led a machine gun platoon, a machine gun company, and infantry battalion and was awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union (medal no. 5214) and the Order of Lenin by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 27 February 1945. He fought in the Battle of Berlin and led his battalion's troops in the storming of Berlin's Reich Chancellery in April 1945.
He attended the Frunze Military Academy from June 1946 until his graduation from the Academy in November 1949, continuing his military career as a senior operations section officer for the Turkestan Military District staff, a motorized rifle division's commanding officer and chief of staff, Civil Defense Forces of the Kazakh SSR chief of staff, a deputy commanding officer of the Central Asian Military District, and first deputy commander of the Soviet Union's Southern Group of Forces in Hungary.
Nurmangambetov was elected to serve as a deputy of Kazakhstan's Supreme Soviet from 1971 until 1994, and chosen to lead its committee on the disabled and military veterans' affairs in 1989.
Colonel-General Nurmangambetov was appointed to head Kazakhstan's State Defense Committee by Nursultan Nazarbayev in October 1991. He was named Kazakhstan's first Minister of Defense following the State Defense Committee's reorganization as the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan in May 1992 and remained as Defense Minister in Nazarbayev's cabinet until retiring from the armed forces as an army general in November 1995.
He was awarded Kazakhstan's highest official award, the newly-established honorary title of People's Hero of Kazakhstan, in 1994 – the first Kazakh to attain the honor.
He was an adviser to President Nazarbayev from 1995 to 1996.
His son Talgat is a major-general in the reserve.
The Hero of the Soviet Union, Halyk Kakharmana, the first Minister of Defence of independent Kazakhstan .S.K.Nurmagambetov died on September 24, 2013 in Almaty on the 90th year of life.Honors:

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Republic of Kazakhstan

Russian Federation


  • Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, 3rd class (2004)
  • Honour of the President of Ukraine
  • Medal "Defender of the Motherland"
  • Jubilee medal "60 years of Ukraine's liberation from Nazi invaders"


  • Order "September 9, 1944", 1st class with swords.



  • Medal "30 Years of Victory over Japan's militarists"

Honorary Citizen of TselinogradAlma-Ata and Donetsk.

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