January 27, 2022
Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Qazaqstan, Russian: Казахстан), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Qazaqstan Respublikasy, Russian: Республика Казахстан) is a country in Central Asia. It is the ninth largest country in the world, but most of the territory is sparsely populated. It faces the Caspian Sea in the west. It borders Russia to the north, China to the east and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, but is sixty-second in population with six per square kilometer. The population in 2006 was about 15,300,000, unlike in 1989, when the population was about 16,400,000, due to the emigration of Russians and German Germans. Most of the history of today's Kazakhstan was inhabited by nomadic tribes. By the 16th century, the Kazakhs had formed as a separate group of three hordes. The Russians first came to this area in the 18th century, and by the middle of the 19th century, the whole of Kazakhstan had become part of the Russian Empire. After the October Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Russian Civil War, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times, and in 1936 the Kazakh SSR was established within the Soviet Union. During the 20th century, Kazakhstan was the site of many Soviet projects, such as Khrushchev's "Virgin Fields", then the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the Semipalatinsk test site, the primary Soviet site for nuclear weapons testing. Kazakhstan declared independence on December 16, 1991, as the last Soviet republic to do so. Former communist leader Nursultan Nazarbayev became the first and so far only president of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is a member of the UN, OSCE, WHO, the Council of Turkophone States, the Partnership for Peace, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the CSTO, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union.