October 17, 2021

Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi), is a country in Central Asia. It borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. It has no connection to a sea.


The fall of the Mongol Empire in Central Asia brought several Uzbek dynasties to power in the 15th century, which included the independent empires of Chiva, Bukhara (Bochara) and Kokand. Gradually, Russia annexed these Muslim Khanates and Emirates around Khiva, Bukhara, and Kokand in the last 30 years of the 19th century, eventually subsuming them into the vast Central Asian Governorate of Turkestan of the Russian Empire. Until the First World War, the Uzbeks revolted several times. During the Russian Civil War (1918-1922), Central Asia was one of the areas where the war lasted the longest, mainly due to the resistance of the Basmachis, who wanted an Islamic state. As early as 1918, the communist Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was also set up. Resistance to the Red Army was largely crushed in the mid-1920s and in 1924 the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was formed, which until 1929 also included the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic. During the Soviet regime there was intensive production of the 'white gold' (cotton) and grain, which led to overuse of agrochemicals and water. As a result, part of the country is heavily polluted and the Aral Sea and a number of rivers (especially the Amu Darja) have dried up half as a result.


Uzbekistan became independent in 1991 (and thus one of the post-Soviet states), and now the country is trying to reduce its dependence on agriculture, and use its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns also include Muslim terrorism and the concomitant curtailment of religious freedom, human rights and democracy. Islom Karimov has been president since the country's independence. In 1989 he had already become leader of the then republic of the Soviet Union. Karimov held the country in a tight grip. There was opposition, but the elections invariably turned out to be a victory for Karimov and his party. Militant Islam in particular was severely suppressed. In 2001, Karimov concluded a treaty with the United States, which allowed Uzbekistan to supply its armed forces in Afghanistan. However, when a demonstration in the city of Andijan was brutally crushed in 2005 and criticized the West, Karimov closed the US base and sought refuge with Russia and China. 700 people were killed by the army in a demonstration. A few years later, however, Pakistan also closed its border with Afghanistan to American goods, jeopardizing supplies to ISAF troops. Hence, the Western powers once again knocked on Karimov's door for help. This created a rift between Uzbek militias in northern Afghanistan and ISAF forces, as many Uzbek militias strongly opposed Karimov and saw the bowing as recognition of Karimov's regime. Thereafter, the membership of Uzbek militias in Afghanistan doubled within months, creating a temporary unsafe situation around cities such as Kunduz, where the militias allowed back in the Taliban for the first time in years on the grounds that they had the same enemy. Karimov passed away in September 2016 without naming a successor. Elections were held on December 4, 2016 and Shavkat Mirziyoev became the country's second president since independence in 1991 with 88.6% of the vote.


Relative location : Central Asia Highest point: Hazrat Sulton (4643 m) The extreme western part of Uzbekistan is located on the Ustjurt Plateau. The delta region of the Amu Darja on the southern edge of the Aral Sea separates this part

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