National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Kazakh: Қазақстан Республикасы Ұлттық Қауіпсіздік Комитеті; Russian: Комитет Национальной Безопасности Республики Казахстан
Coat of arms knb1.svg
The emblem of The National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Agency overview
Formed 13 July 1992; 26 years ago (1992-07-13)
Preceding agency
Agency executive
Also referred to by the abbreviations KNB[1][2] or NSC,[3] or unofficially as the Kazakh National Security Service[4]

The National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NSC) is an intelligence agency in Kazakhstan.[3] It was founded on 13 July 1992.[6]


The NSC was created in accordance with a law passed by parliament in July 1992 which authorised the establishment of an agency to replace the KGB, the old national security apparatus of the Soviet Union. Initially, it retained most of the staff which the KGB had employed in Kazakhstan, as well as the powers the KGB had held; its first head, Bulat Baekenov, had worked for the KGB for over two decades. Its early years were marked by close cooperation with Russia on issues of border security and counter-intelligence against alleged foreign spies.[1] In December 1995, a new presidential decree modified some of the NSC's powers.[7]

In November 2008, journalist Ramazan Yesergepov published an article entitled "Who Rules the Country: President or National Security Committee?" It contained private NSC correspondence which was later listed as classified, resulting in his 2009 arrest and conviction on security charges.[8] The case led to domestic and international condemnation.[9][10]

In January 2010, Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbaev appointed his nephew Samat Abish as the NSC's head of human resources; opposition lawmaker Serikbolsyn Abdildin of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan claimed this shows that Nazarbaev considers personal loyalty more important than skill in government posts.[2]


The NSC includes the Arystan ('Lions') commando unit.[11]

List of chairmen

  • Bulat Baekenov, October 1991 - December 1993[12]
  • Sat Tokpakbaev, December 1993 - November 1995; left his post to take up the chairmanship of the Special Security Division (Специализированное охранное подразделение) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs[12]
  • Dzhenisbek Dzhumanbekov, November 1995 - May 1997; his term was marked by scandal over illegal dealings with Iran, and his vice-chairman was sacked; Dzhumanbekov himself resigned from his position and left public life[12]
  • Alnur Musaev, May 1997 - September 1998 and August 1999 - May 2001; second term ended by dismissal from his post due to personal conflicts with the president and other elites[12]
  • Nurtai Abykayev, September 1998 – August 1999 and August 2010 – present; dismissed from his post for his role in a scandal over the sale of old MiG fighter planes to North Korea by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense, and replaced by his predecessor.[12][13] Reappointed in 2010 after the removal of Adil Shayakhmetov.[5]
  • Marat Tazhin, May 2001 - December 2001[12]
  • Nartai Dutbayev, December 2001 - 22 February 2006; resigned in scandal over murder of opposition politician Altynbek Sarsenbayev[12][14][15]
  • Amangeldy Shabdarbayev, 2 March 2006 - 7 December 2009; removed from his post for unclear reasons[16][17]
  • Adil Shayakhmetov, 9 December 2009 – August 2010; removed from his post in the aftermath of the arrest of Prosecutor-General's Office official Murat Musabekov, who was fingered as allegedly plotting a coup in an anonymous letter allegedly circulated by NSC officers.[5][16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Knight 1997, p. 161
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kazakh President's Nephew Gets Post In Security Service", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2010-01-12, retrieved 2010-01-27<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 McDermott, Roger N. (2006-08-03), "Kazakhstan's Intelligence Service in Disarray", The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst, retrieved 2010-02-02<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "KNB Gives Kazakh Uranium Company Head New Lawyer", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2010-01-20, retrieved 2010-02-02<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Lillis, Joanna (2010-10-07), "Kazakhstan: Coup Rumor a Sign of Factional Infighting in Astana", Eurasianet, retrieved 2010-12-13<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Adequately react to modern threats, Kazakhstan: National Security Committee, 2007-07-13, retrieved 2009-08-01<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Об органах национальной безопасности Республики Казахстан", Ведомости Верховного Совета Республики Казахстан, 24 (157), 1995-12-21, retrieved 2010-01-28<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Kazakhstan: Journalist Ramazan Yesergepov faces the prospect of spending the next 8 years behind the bars", Ferghana Information Agency, 2009-01-11, retrieved 2011-04-20<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Leonard, Peter (2009-08-13), "Kazakhstan court refuses to free jailed editor", Seattle Times, retrieved 2011-04-20<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Rights group raps Kazakh record before OSCE summit", Daily Times of Pakistan, 2010-12-01, retrieved 2011-04-20<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Suspects in slaying of opposition leader reportedly from Kazakh security service", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2006-02-22, retrieved 2010-12-13<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Кузнецов, Николай (2009-12-11), "Девять жизней Комитета нацбезопасности", Взгляд, 45 (134), retrieved 2010-01-28<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Kazakh sackings over plane scandal", BBC News, 1999-08-09, retrieved 2009-08-01<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Central Asia Report: Week at a Glance", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2006-03-10, retrieved 2010-01-27<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Kazakh officers linked to murder", BBC News, 2006-01-26, retrieved 2010-01-28<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Kazakhstan Approves New National Security Committee Chief", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2009-12-09, retrieved 2010-01-27<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Kazakh Senate Approves New Intelligence Chief", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2006-03-02, retrieved 2010-01-27<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Knight, Amy W. (1997), Spies without cloaks: the KGB's successors, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-01718-1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links