Aliya Moldagulova

Aliya Nurmuhametqyzy Moldagulova (Kazakh: Әлия Нұрмұхамедқызы Молдағұлова; Álııa Nurmuhamedqyzy Moldaǵulova; 25 October 1925 – 14 January 1944) was a Soviet sniper and recipient of the title Hero of the Soviet Union after she died of wounds sustained in battle on 14 January 1944.

Aliya Nurmuhametqyzy Moldagulova
Native name
Әлия Нұрмұхамедқызы Молдағұлова
Born25 October 1925
Bulak, Kazakh ASSR
Died14 January 1944(1944-01-14) (aged 18)
Novosokolniki, Pskov Oblast, Soviet Union
Monakovo, Pskov
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branchRed Army
Years of service1942–1944
Unit54th Independent Rifle Brigade
Battles/warsEastern Front of World War II 
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Civilian life

Moldagulova was born on October 25, 1925, in Bulak, Kazakhstan. She lost her parents during her childhood and was living with her uncle in Alma-Ata. By 1935 she moved to Leningrad where her uncle was enrolled into a Military-transport academy. In fall of 1939, at the age of 14, she was sent to the orphanage from which she was evacuated when the war began in 1942 via Ladoga Lake. After graduating from Vyatka secondary school she received a scholarship to Rybinsk Aviatechnical School on October 1.[1]

Military career

After studying at the Rybinsk Aviatechnical School for three months, she applied for a waiver to join the Red Army. In May 1943, she was enrolled in the Central Women’s Sniper Training School. In July of that same year, after graduating and swearing the military oath, she was deployed with the 54th Rifle Brigade along with her friends from the center where they trained.

In January 1944 her brigade ambushed Germans at the NovosokolnikiDno railway. Later on, she realized that her commander was missing, and assumed command. After assuming command of her brigade, she inspired her comrades by shouting "Brothers, soldiers, follow me!", and the battalion pressed the attack by overrunning the Wehrmacht position.

On 14 January 1944, during hand-to-hand combat, Moldagulova was hit by a mortar shell and slightly wounded. Despite the wound, she fought off the enemy combatants until she was mortally wounded and no longer able to fight.

Moldagulova died from a gunshot wound later that day after writing a letter to her sister. On 4 June 1944, Moldagulova was awarded (posthumously) the title Hero of the Soviet Union and an Order of Lenin, respectively.

Moldagulova was buried in a mass grave in Monakovo, Pskov.[2]

Moldagulova was credited with killing 91 enemy combatants in her career.[3]


  • On May 9, 1995, as a part of 50th anniversary of end of World War II, Kazakhstan issued a stamp dedicated to Aliya Moldagulova.[4]
  • In 1997 a monument was erected in her name in Astana Square in Almaty.

See also


  1. "Молдагулова Алия Нурмухамбетовна". Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  2. "Aliya Moldagulova". September 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  3. Sakaida, Henry (2012-04-20). Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941–45. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781780966922.
  4. "Aliya Moldagulova stamp". Retrieved July 27, 2013.
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