Hero of the Kazakh steppes

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Mukan Munaitpasov was awarded by CEC Presidium of the Kazakh SSR in 1927, and he got the title "Hero of the Kazakh steppes", he is mostly known as Qajimuqan. (In other years and other places he was called Yamagata-Muhanura, Kara Mustafa, Mahmut, Kara Ivan, etc.)

A big village with historically - ironic name – Temirlanovka, on the highway from Shymkent to Turkestan, draws attention to itself. It is the same as Genghiskhanovka, Akbarovka or Napoleonovka. The village appeared here during the Empire era - in 1883. But settled life was already here, before the pre-Mongolian times. Whitish mound with a distinctive name Aktobe stands at the border of Temirlanovka. Remains of a settlement, which was here before the Mongol invasion. However, the main glory of the village associated with a completely different time.

Figure of Qajimuqan, charismatic athlete, stands in the center of Temirlanovka, next to his own memorial museum and another monument, directly connected with his name, a monument for the aircraft "PO2". It is exactly the same aircraft that a 75-year-old hero gave to the battle-front by end of the Great Patriotic War. Despite the fact that it was already 1945, the pilot Shalabayev managed to perform 120 tactical missions on this aircraft.

Life of the famous circus wrestler is known not only in the Russian Empire and in the Soviet Union, but also far beyond. It is a feather in Kazakhstan cap, because Qajimuqan was the first Kazakh, who became well known for his sporting achievements. His name has always stood next to the names of such famous Russian heroes as Poddubnyi and Zaikin. Do not be confuse by the term "circus wrestling" - in the beginning of the last century, it was the same as "ultimate fighting" nowadays. Totalizator worked already back then. And the passions, surrounding these fights, were not theatrical.

The talk about Qajimuqan can be long and diverse, here is a lot to tell about. But today I want to focus just on one episode of his long and eventful life - story about the aircraft.

It is still legendary how Qajimuqan collected 100,000 rubles on the heroic gift for the Soviet Army. Despite his advanced age, "the hero of the Kazakh steppes" was in decent shape. Here at the museum, are stone balls and weights that this heroic man used for trainings and performances. And rails that he bent to the delight of the audience, and flagstones that were broken on his chest with a sledgehammer. This is how the warrior earned money for the plane.

By the long tradition of circus athletes, each show was accompanied by the challenge of the public - to fight on the arena. But here Qajimuqan was unlucky. No one wanted to compete with him, even when he was seventy-five old. So, he had to be content with stones and rails. But he still managed to earn the required amount.

Here, in this beautiful museum, are two curious documents. First is Stalin's telegram that was received as a response to the proposal of Kazakh hero: "Please accept my gratitude comrade Qajimuqan for your concern about Air Force of the Red Army. Your wish will be fulfilled. Stalin."

The second document is a letter to "comrade Qajimuqan" from Lieutenant Colonel Klyuchnikov, the commander of aviation unit. It dated 1946, apparently, the fate of the aircraft was still concerning the aging hero.

"We would like to inform you that aircraft" PO-2 " that you had given during the Great Patriotic War to the Red Army, was presented to a Kazakh pilot, ml. Lieutenant Kashtai Shalabayev, which he bravely fought on for our socialist homeland, and received a government award "Order of the Patriotic War 2 degree". Currently ml. Lieutenant K. Shalabayev, for reason of health, is discharged from the Red Army. The plane is in good condition and transferred to the best pilot.

We wish you, Comrade Qajimuqan, great success in work for the benefit of our multinational country and in your personal life."

…This whole story as if summarized the extraordinary life of Kazakh hero. Soon, in 1948, he died, and his grave is here, near the Temirlanovka, it is blue mazar with two memorial plates inside, quite modest by today's standards. Some milestones (on Kazakh and Russian languages) of eventful biography of Qajimuqan are engraved on the plates.

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