Karaganda or Qaraghandy is the capital of Karaganda Region in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is the fourth most populous city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty, Astana and Shymkent. Population: 459,778; 436,864. Karaganda is approximately 230 km south-east of Kazakhstan's capital Astana.
In the 1940s up to 70% of the city's inhabitants were ethnic Germans. Most of the ethnic Germans were Soviet Volga Germans who were collectively deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan on Stalin's order when Hitler invaded Soviet-annexed eastern Poland and the Soviet Union proper in 1941. Until the 1950s, many of these deportees were interned in labor camps, often simply because they were of German descent. The population of Karaganda fell by 14% from 1989-1999 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union; it was once Kazakhstan's second-largest city after Almaty. Over 100,000 people have since emigrated to Germany. There is also a concentration of ethnic Poles in the city.
Karaganda is the home city of Kazakh World War II hero Nurken Abdirov. A statue in Abdirov's honor is in the center of the city.
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