The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Kazakhstani Politicians of all time. This list of famous Kazakhstani Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Kazakhstani Politicians.
With an HPI of 77.64, Tomyris is the most famous Kazakhstani Politician. Her biography has been translated into 45 different languages on wikipedia.
Tomyris (; Saka: *Taumuriyaʰ; Ancient Greek: Τομυρις, romanized: Tomuris; Latin: Tomyris) also called Thomyris, Tomris, or Tomiride, is known only from the Greek historian Herodotus. According to him, she reigned over the Massagetae, an Iranian Saka people of Central Asia. Tomyris led her armies to defend against an attack by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire, and defeated and killed him in 530 BC. She had his severed head placed in a bag or bowl filled with blood, saying to it "There: drink your fill of blood!" She is not mentioned in the few other early sources covering the period, especially Ctesias. Tomyris became a fairly popular subject in European art and literature during the Renaissance. In art the usual subject was her receiving the head of Cyrus, or putting it into the blood-filled container. This became part of the Power of Women group of women subjects who triumphed in various ways over men.
With an HPI of 76.59, Nursultan Nazarbayev is the 2nd most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 93 different languages.
Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev (Kazakh: Нұрсұлтан Әбішұлы Назарбаев; Nūrsūltan Äbışūly Nazarbaev, pronounced [nʊɾsʊɫˈtɑn æbɪ̞ɕʊˈlɯ nɑzɑɾˈbɑjev]; born 6 July 1940) is a Kazakh politician and military officer who served as the first President of Kazakhstan, from the country’s independence in 1991 until his formal resignation in 2019, and as the Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan from 1991 to 2022.He held the special title of Elbasy (meaning "Leader of the Nation", Kazakh pronunciation: [jelˈbasɯ]) from 2010 to 2022. Nazarbayev was one of the longest-ruling non-royal leaders in the world, having led Kazakhstan for nearly three decades, excluding chairmanship in the Security Council after the end of his presidency. He has often been referred to as a dictator due to usurpation of power and autocratic rule. Nazarbayev began his political career in 1962, joining the Communist Party of the Soviet Union while working as a factory steel worker. He held prominent positions within the party and in 1984, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of the Kazakh SSR by Dinmukhamed Kunaev. Nazarbayev became the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan in 1989. In 1990, he was elected as Kazakhstan's first president by the Supreme Soviet. Nazarbayev played a crucial role in opposing the 1991 coup d'état attempt by Soviet hardliners, which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Nazarbayev ruled an authoritarian regime in Kazakhstan, where a pervasive cult of personality surrounded him, as human rights abuses were severe, dissent was suppressed, and elections were not free and fair. In the country's first direct presidential election, held in 1991, he appeared alone on the ballot with no opposing candidates and secured an overwhelming 98% of the vote. In 1995, he governed the country in a rule by decree, as the Supreme Council was absent. In April of that year, a presidential term referendum extended his presidency until 2000. Additionally, in August, constitutional referendum took place, significantly bolstering the executive powers through the introduction of a new draft for the Constitution of Kazakhstan. These actions consolidated Nazarbayev's authority and control over the country's political landscape. In 1999, Nazarbayev was re-elected second time for what was officially recognized as his first term, as the Constitutional Council's ruling in 2000 allowed him to run again in 2005 under the provisions of a 1995 amendment. Later, exploiting a 2007 amendment that removed term limits exclusively for Nazarbayev, he secured re-election in 2011 and 2015, serving his fourth and fifth terms as president. In 2018, the Parliament approved a constitutional amendment allowing Nazarbayev to lead the Security Council for life. During Nazarbayev's presidency, Kazakhstan experienced a rapid economic growth in 2000s, driven by high oil prices and market-oriented reforms, establishing the country as a prominent economic power in Central Asia. Foreign investments in key industries fueled modernization and infrastructure development. Additionally, Nazarbayev's foreign policy approach emphasized maintaining good relations with major powers and actively integrating Kazakhstan into regional organizations such as the Eurasian Economic Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States and globally by becoming a member of the World Trade Organization. Moreover, he played a crucial role in nuclear disarmament efforts by renouncing the country's inherited nuclear arsenal and closing the Semipalatinsk Test Site. Despite these accomplishments, challenges persisted due to widespread corruption and nepotism linked to Nazarbayev and his family, which hindered transparency and accountability, posing significant obstacles to Kazakhstan's development. In addition, Nazarbayev's tenure also confronted a series of economic challenges, including the 2007–2008 financial crisis, the 2010s oil glut, and the Russo-Ukrainian War, in which these events contributed to the devaluation of the Kazakhstani tenge and triggered periods of inflation. In March 2019, he resigned from the presidency amid anti-government rallies and was succeeded by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a close ally of Nazarbayev, who overwhelmingly won the following snap presidential election in June 2019. He was immune from any criminal prosecution until being stripped from privileges following the 2022 constitutional referendum and continued to serve as the chairman of both the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and Nur Otan until 2021. Nazarbayev also was the chairman of the Security Council until his dismissal from that post in response to the 2022 unrest. He was an honorary member of the Senate of Kazakhstan and the member of the Constitutional Council until this title was stripped in 2023.
With an HPI of 74.33, Baibars is the 3rd most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars al-Bunduqdari (Arabic: الملك الظاهر ركن الدين بيبرس البندقداري, al-Malik al-Ẓāhir Rukn al-Dīn Baybars al-Bunduqdārī) (1223/1228 – 1 July 1277), commonly known as Baibars or Baybars and nicknamed Abu al-Futuh (أبو الفتوح, lit. 'Father of Conquests'), was the fourth Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria, of Turkic Kipchak origin, in the Bahri dynasty, succeeding Qutuz. He was one of the commanders of the Egyptian forces that inflicted a defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France. He also led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked the first substantial defeat of the Mongol army and is considered a turning point in history.The reign of Baybars marked the start of an age of Mamluk dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean and solidified the durability of their military system. He managed to pave the way for the end of the Crusader presence in the Levant and reinforced the union of Egypt and Syria as the region's pre-eminent Muslim state, able to fend off threats from both Crusaders and Mongols, and even managed to subdue the kingdom of Makuria, which was famous for being unconquerable by previous Muslim empire invasion attempts. As sultan, Baybars also engaged in a combination of diplomacy and military action, allowing the Mamluks of Egypt to greatly expand their empire. Al-Sha'rani (d. 973/1565) counted him among Ibn 'Arabi's students.
With an HPI of 68.90, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is the 4th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. Her biography has been translated into 68 different languages.
Kassym-Jomart Kemeluly Tokayev (Kazakh: Қасым-Жомарт Кемелұлы Тоқаев, romanized: Qasym-Jomart Kemelūly Toqaev [qɑˈsəm ʑoˈmɑrt kʲeˌmʲelo̙ɫɯ toˈqɑjef]; born 17 May 1953) is a Kazakh politician and diplomat who has served as President of Kazakhstan since 2019. Between 20 March and 12 June 2019, he served as acting president after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had been president for nearly three decades. Born in Alma-Ata (now Almaty), Tokayev attended the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. After graduating in 1975, he worked as a diplomat in Singapore and China. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tokayev became the Deputy Foreign Minister of a newly independent Kazakhstan in 1992, where he was involved on the issues of nuclear disarmament within the former Soviet republics. In 1999, Tokayev became the Deputy Prime Minister, and in October of that year with the endorsement of the Parliament, he was appointed as Prime Minister by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. From 2002, Tokayev served as Foreign Minister and State Secretary, where he continued to play an active role in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. He was the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva from 2011 to 2013 and served twice as a Chairman of the Kazakh Senate from 2007 to 2011 and 2013 to 2019.In 2019, Tokayev assumed office as the acting president after Nursultan Nazarbayev's resignation. Being a member of the ruling Amanat party, he won a non-democratic snap election in June of that year with the support of Nazarbayev as the nominee for the party. After being fully sworn to office, Tokayev pledged to continue Nazarbayev's policies. During his presidency, he has enacted several reforms including increasing workers' salaries, reducing corruption, abolishing capital punishment, and decentralising the local government. From 2020, Tokayev had endured the economic downturn and issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and War in Afghanistan and has sought to counter Kazakhstan's rising inflation, domestic terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking, nuclear energy development and power shortages caused by cryptocurrency mining, as well as the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. In 2022, Tokayev announced constitutional reforms that would limit his powers and grant more authority to the Parliament. As a result, he initiated a constitutional referendum which was backed by an overwhelming number of voters and led to the complete stripping of Nazarbayev's post-presidential privileges regarding policymaking.Since becoming president, Tokayev's political influence and role in Kazakhstan had steadily grown apart from Nazarbayev as he assumed various other powerful positions which were previously held by Nazarbayev starting with the chairmanship of the Assembly of People in 2021. In January 2022, he imposed a nationwide state of emergency, dismissed the entirety of Asqar Mamin's government, and ordered security forces to use deadly force following a two-week long violent unrest that had begun earlier that month. Shortly thereafter, Tokayev took the leading role in the Security Council and ruling Amanat party from Nazarbayev and along with his relatives, dismissed several officials who held a close relationship with Nazarbayev. While managing to maintain the country's stability, ensuring political transition, and enacting new reforms, Tokayev's governance has remained authoritarian with human rights abuses. The 2022 Suisse secrets leaks revealed that the Tokayev family had maintained an elaborate network of secretive offshore wealth assets since at least 1998.
With an HPI of 67.73, Seljuk is the 5th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Seljuk Beg (also romanized Saljūq, Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq; died c. 1007 or 1009) was an Oghuz Turkic warlord, eponymous founder of the Seljuk dynasty.
With an HPI of 66.10, Akhmad Kadyrov is the 6th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Akhmad-Khadzhi Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov (23 August 1951 – 9 May 2004) was a Russian politician and revolutionary who served as Chief Mufti of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the 1990s during and after the First Chechen War. At the outbreak of the Second Chechen War he switched sides, offering his service to the Russian government, and later became the President of the Chechen Republic from 5 October 2003, acting as head of administration since July 2000. On 9 May 2004, he was assassinated by Chechen Islamists in Grozny, by a bomb blast during a Victory Day memorial parade. His son, Ramzan Kadyrov, who led his father's militia, became his successor in March 2007 as the President of the Chechen Republic.
With an HPI of 66.05, Aslan Maskhadov is the 7th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.
Aslan (Khalid) Aliyevich Maskhadov (Russian: Асла́н (Хали́д) Али́евич Масха́дов; Chechen: Масхадан Али-воӀ Аслан (Халид), romanized: Masxadan Ali-voj Aslan (Xalid); 21 September 1951 – 8 March 2005) was a Soviet and Chechen politician and military commander who served as the third president of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He was credited by many with the Chechen victory in the First Chechen War, which allowed for the establishment of the de facto independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Maskhadov was elected President of Chechnya in January 1997. Following the start of the Second Chechen War in August 1999, he returned to leading the guerrilla resistance against the Russian army. De facto Ichkeria ceased to exist at the beginning of 2000. Until his death, Maskhadov was President in exile. He was killed in Tolstoy-Yurt, a village in northern Chechnya, in March 2005.
With an HPI of 65.28, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the 8th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.
Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky (25 April 1946 – 6 April 2022) was a Russian right-wing populist politician and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) from its creation in 1992 until his death. He had been a member of the State Duma since 1993 and leader of the LDPR group in the State Duma from 1993 to 2000, and from 2011 to 2022.He served as a deputy chairman of the State Duma from 2000 until 2011. He also worked as a delegate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1996 to 2008. During his lifetime, Zhirinovsky ran in every single Russian presidential election apart from in 2004. He was known for many controversies, as well as staunch advocacy for Russian military action against NATO.
With an HPI of 59.04, Ablai Khan is the 9th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Wāli-ūllah Abū'l-Mansūr Khan (Kazakh: Уәлиұллаh Әбілмансұр хан, ولي الله أبو المنصور خان, romanized: Uäliūllah Äbılmansūr Han), better known as Abylai Khan or Ablai Khan (May 23, 1711 — May 23, 1781) was Khan of the Middle Jüz (central region) was the last independent Kazakh Khan of the Kazakh Khanate before the Khanate was absorbed into the Russian Empire.
With an HPI of 59.04, Dinmukhamed Kunaev is the 10th most famous Kazakhstani Politician. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
Dinmukhamed Akhmetuly "Dimash" Kunaev (also spelled Kunayev; Kazakh: Дінмұхаммед (Димаш) Ахметұлы Қонаев, romanized: Dınmūhammed (Dimaş) Ahmetūly Qonaev, Russian: Динмухаме́д Ахме́дович (Минлиахмедович) Куна́ев, romanized: Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich (Minliakhmedovich) Kunaev; 12 January 1912 [O.S. 31 December 1911] – 22 August 1993) was a Kazakh Soviet communist politician who served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR.
Pantheon has 41 people classified as politicians born between 600 BC and 1984. Of these 41, 20 (48.78%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Askar Mamin. The most famous deceased politicians include Tomyris, Baibars, and Seljuk. As of April 2022, 11 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Akhmet Baitursynov, Tughlugh Timur, and Saken Seifullin.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 15 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.