Nurken Abdirov


This dramatic memorial portrays a young Kazakh pilot, Nurken Abdirov – a Hero of the Soviet Union – defiantly gripping the steering of his plane as he guides it down. In the Battle of Stalingrad, in 1943, Abdirov and co-pilot steered their damaged plane straight into a German column rather than save themselves.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kazakhstan attractions

1. Karaganda Ecological Museum

0.36 MILES

The Karaganda Ecological Museum, run by a dedicated, campaigning environmental NGO, is aimed at local schoolchildren and is the most imaginative museum in…

2. Karaganda Oblast Museum

0.59 MILES

Displays at this regional museum run the gamut from stuffed local wildlife and a model of an Iron Age kurgan (burial mound) to letters from Middle Horde…

3. Coal Miners


This Socialist Realist statue of two proud coal miners raising a huge block of coal over their heads is the symbol of Karaganda, the town that coal built.

4. Central Park

0.71 MILES

The leafy Central Park stretches over 2km from north to south, with a large lake at its heart. Its main entrance is off the west side of mid–Bukhar Zhyrau.

5. Yuri Gagarin Monument


This heroic-looking statue of Yury Gagarin, first man in space, was erected in 2014 on what would have been Gagarin's 80th birthday to commemorate his…

6. Lenin Statue

1.55 MILES

A little out of the way, but worth seeking out if you're into your Soviet memorials, this large statue depicts Lenin rising upwards from a block of…

7. KarLag Museum

20.18 MILES

Housed in the old KarLag headquarters building, this poignant museum walks you through KarLag's role in the Soviet Gulag Archipelago. The repression of…

8. Spassk

20.2 MILES

One of Kazakhstan's biggest Gulag memorials, 35km south of Karaganda on the Almaty highway, Spassk was the site of a KarLag camp where foreign prisoners…