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Country information - Uzbekistan
Country name - conventional long form : Republic of Uzbekistan
Country name - conventional short form : Uzbekistan
Country name - local long form : Ozbekiston Respublikasi
Country name - local short form : Ozbekiston
Country name - former : Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type : republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Capital - name : Tashkent (Toshkent)
Capital - time difference : UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day, 1 September (1991)
Population : 27,345,026 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Uzbekistani
Nationality - adjective : Uzbekistani
Languages : Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Currency (code) : soum (UZS)
Currency code : UZS

Uzbekistan is located Central Asia, north of Afghanistan. The climate is mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east. The terrain is mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Syr Darya (Sirdaryo), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.

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