Central Asia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are traditional hometowns for nomads and cavalry. Landscapes include snow-capped mountain peaks, clear-water lakes and unobtrusive, flat steppes. Both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan gained independence in 1991.
Kazakhstan is named after the nomadic people, the Kazakhs, who ruled the region at the time. The name means “steppe riders.” Today, more than half of the country’s inhabitants are descendants of the Kazakhs, they speak the Turkish-speaking language of the same name. However, the share of Russians and Russian speakers is over 30%. The religion of the majority population of Kazakhstan is Sunni Muslims, the Russians are mostly Orthodox.
Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world (approximately 2.7 million km2), the second largest of the former Soviet republics after Russia. The large country can accommodate a wide variety of landscapes. Extensive undulating steppes and semi-deserts dominate, with a narrow wooded zone to the north. On the borders of Kyrgyzstan and China rise the high slopes of the Tiensan and Alta Mountains. Together with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan controls the Aral Sea on the border. Today, however, the amount of water in the lake is only a hint further.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Kazakhstan. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Kazakhstan has very large natural resources; large oil and natural gas deposits and copper and coal mines. During the Soviet era, both the Baikonur Space Center and the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Experimental Area were established in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence until 1991.
The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, was renamed in March 2019, the name of the capital is now Nur-Sultan, according to long-time president Nursultan Nazarbayev. At the same time, he announced his resignation from the presidency. The name of the capital has changed in the past, this was the fourth change in the last six decades. The city is a good symbol for the development and modernization of Kazakhstan. From the glorious past, the world of tents and praising horses, spectacular symbols have been drawn into the city’s futuristic architecture. The dominant colors of the majestic buildings are white and gold.
Almaty, formerly Alma-Ata, is the center of Kazakhstan’s economic and cultural life and the largest city in the country in terms of population. Almaty is a very green city with many parks and wooden houses.
Kazakhstan. The defense ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, China and the Russian Federation – the so-called Shanghai Five – met in March in K. and discussed the growing threat to Central Asia from Afghan Islamic guerrillas. In April, the Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Presidents signed a 10-year agreement to combat terrorism, political and religious extremism and organized crime in the region jointly. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled in the area during the spring, promising financial support for Kazakhstan. At the same time, she called for better protection of human rights.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Moscow in June and met the new Russian President Vladimir Putin. A decision was made on a free trade zone and an anti-terrorist center. In the same month, Parliament decided to make Nazarbayev a lifetime president. When Nazarbayev was elected in 1999, the opposition labeled the election “deeply unfair,” and the result was rejected by the OSCE.
In August, Islamic rebels entered both Kazakhstan’s neighboring states Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan from Afghanistan via Tajikistan. Fighting with many casualties followed in both countries. President Nazarbayev traveled to Kyrgyzstan to meet his three Central Asian counterparts and discuss the situation.
Due to the tense situation in the region close enough, K’s defense budget doubled compared to the previous year. K’s economy recovered during the year following the effects of the Asian and Russian crises. The country benefited from the high prices of its export oil and was able to implement early repayments on loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But at least 60% of the population was still estimated to be living in poverty.
Several severe environmental disasters were reported during the year. Among other things, thousands of seals died of poisoning in the Caspian Sea, and eight tons of poisoned fish were picked up from a lake in northern Kazakhstan.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Kazakhstan in 2000 was 14,922,608, ranking number 62 in the world. The population growth rate was -1.180% yearly, and the population density was 5.5275 people per km2.