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Asia, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, officially Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyz Respublikasy), landlocked republic in the eastern part of Central Asia that is bordered on the north by Kazakhstan, on the east by China, on the south by China and Tajikistan, and on the west by Uzbekistan. Bishkek is the capital and largest city.

The Kyrgyz, a Turkic-speaking people, constitute a slim majority of the multiethnic population of Kyrgyzstan. The constitution enshrines Kyrgyz as the country's state language, although Russian continues to be used widely. Kyrgyzstan became part of the Russian Empire in the late 1800s. In 1924 it was incorporated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as an autonomous region, and in 1936 its status was upgraded and it became one of the 15 constituent republics of the USSR, officially called the Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). The republic was also commonly known as Kirgizia under Soviet rule, and Russians continue to call it that today. Kyrgyzstan became independent from the USSR in 1991. In 1993 the republic ratified its first post-Soviet constitution.

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