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Republic of Kazakhstan
Қазақстан Республикасы
Qazaqstan Respwblïkası
Республика Казахстан
Respublika Kazakhstan
AnthemМенің Қазақстаным (Kazakh)
Meniñ Qazaqstanım (transcription)
"My Kazakhstan"

Capital Astana
51°10′N 71°30′E / 51.167°N 71.5°E / 51.167; 71.5
Largest city Almaty
Official language(s) Kazakh (state and major for Kazakh officials, spoken by most of ethnic Kazakhs)
Russian (2nd official (spoken by most of Kazakhstanis))
Ethnic groups  (2009 census)
63.1% Kazakh
23.7% Russian
2.8% Uzbek
2.1% Ukrainian
1.4% Uyghur
1.3% Tatar
1.1% German
4.5% Other
[1]
Demonym Kazakh
Kazakhstani[2]
Government Presidential republic
 -  President Nursultan Nazarbayev
 -  Prime Minister Karim Massimov
Independence from the Soviet Union 
 -  Kazakh Khanate 1465 
 -  Alash Autonomy December 13, 1917 
 -  Kazakh SSR December 5, 1936 
 -  Declared December 16, 1991 
 -  Finalized December 25, 1991 
Area
 -  Total 2,724,900 km2 (9th)
1,052,085 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.7
Population
 -  2010 estimate 16,196,800[1] (62nd)
 -  2009 census 16,004,800[1] 
 -  Density 5.94/km2 (224th)
15.39/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $177.835 billion[3] (55th)
 -  Per capita $11,434[3] (70th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $135.601 billion[3] (53rd)
 -  Per capita $8,719[3] (68th)
Gini (2008) 28.8[4] (low
HDI (2007) 0.804 (high) (82nd)
Currency Tenge (Tenge symbol.svg) (KZT)
Time zone West/East (UTC+5/+6)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .kz
Calling code +7-6xx, +7-7xx
Kazakhstan (also spelled Kazakstan, Kazakh: Қазақстан Qazaqstan,قازاقستان, pronounced [qɑzɑqstɑ́n]; Russian: Казахстан [kəzɐxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Eurasia ranked as the ninth largest country in the world. It is also the world's largest landlocked country.[5][6] Its territory of 2,727,300 km² is greater than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. .The capital was moved in 1997 from Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, to Astana.^ The capital city Astana is a former mining town that grew into an important center of the country .
  • Kazakhstan Phone Cards | Kazakhstan Calling Cards - Cheap Kazakhstan Phone Card to Kazakhstan 16 September 2009 23:55 UTC www.phonecardsmile.com [Source type: News]

Vast in size, the terrain of Kazakhstan ranges from flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, and snow-capped mountains to deserts. .With 16.2 million people (2009 census)[1], Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, though its population density is less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq.^ Kazakhstan has seen dramatic emigration in the last decade: nearly 2 million people, mainly Russian (approximately 28 per cent of the population) and other non-Kazak minorities, are believed to have left the country.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The impact of these policies means that though they are now the largest ethnic group within Kazakhstan, the Kazakhs were a minority at the time of independence in 1991.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The Republic of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

mi.).
For most of its history, the territory of modern-day Kazakhstan has been inhabited by nomadic tribes. By the 16th century the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct group, divided into three hordes. The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, a part of the USSR. During the 20th century, Kazakhstan was the site of major Soviet projects, including Khrushchev's Virgin Lands campaign, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the Semipalatinsk "Polygon", the USSR's primary nuclear weapon testing site.
Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country on December 16, 1991, the last Soviet republic to do so. Its communist-era leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, became the country's new president. Since independence, Kazakhstan has pursued a balanced foreign policy and worked to develop its economy, especially its hydrocarbon industry. While the country's economic outlook is improving, President Nazarbayev maintains strict control over the country's politics. Nevertheless, Kazakhstan's international prestige is building.[7] It is now considered to be the dominant state in Central Asia.[8] The country is a member of many international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO's Partnership for Peace, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. .In 2010, Kazakhstan is chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.^ Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe .
  • Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.stopvaw.org [Source type: Academic]

Kazakhstan is ethnically and culturally diverse, in part due to mass deportations of many ethnic groups to the country during Stalin's rule. .Kazakhs are the largest group.^ The impact of these policies means that though they are now the largest ethnic group within Kazakhstan, the Kazakhs were a minority at the time of independence in 1991.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

Kazakhstan has 131 nationalities including Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Tatar. .It has a population of 16.0 million, of whom around 63% percent are Kazakhs [1].^ The census in that year saw Kazakhs attain a majority with 53.4 percent of the population, with the Russian minority falling to 29.9 percent.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

.Kazakhstan allows freedom of religion, and many different beliefs are represented in the country.^ On a positive side, a consultative ‘Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan’ was established by the President in 1995 to represent the interests of the country’s various minorities.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

Islam is the primary religion. .The Kazakh language is the state language, while Russian is also officially used as an "equal" language (to Kazakh) in Kazakhstan's institutions.^ Main languages: Kazakh, Russian, Uzbek .
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Though the Russian language is deemed ‘equal’ to Kazak under the constitution, legislation and programmes of ‘Kazakhization’ since 2001 is increasing the use of the Kazak language as the main language of government and is in fact an obstacle for access to education and employment in the civil service for a large part of the minority population.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ In addition, it is reported that state authorities consistently provide state subsidies, but to Kazakh-language media only.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

[9][10]

Contents

History

Kazakh Khanate

Artistic depiction of Ancient Taraz
Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the Stone Age: the region's climate and terrain are best suited for nomads practicing pastoralism. Historians believe that humans first domesticated the horse in the region's vast steppes. While ancient cities Taraz (Aulie-Ata) and Hazrat-e Turkestan had long served as important way-stations along the Silk Road connecting East and West, real political consolidation only began with the Mongol invasion of the early 13th century. Under the Mongol Empire, administrative districts were established, and these eventually came under the emergent Kazakh Khanate.
Throughout this period traditionally nomadic life and a livestock-based economy continued to dominate the steppe. In the 15th century, a distinct Kazakh identity began to emerge among the Turkic tribes, a process which was consolidated by the mid-16th century with the appearance of a distinctive Kazakh language, culture, and economy.
Nevertheless, the region was the focus of ever-increasing disputes between the native Kazakh emirs and the neighbouring Persian-speaking peoples to the south. By the early 17th century, the Kazakh Khanate was struggling with the impact of tribal rivalries, which has effectively divided the population into the Great, Middle and Little (or Small) Hordes (jüz). Political disunion, tribal rivalries, and the diminishing importance of overland trade routes between East and West weakened the Kazakh Khanate.
During the 17th century Kazakhs fought Oirats, a federation of western Mongol tribes, among which the Dzungars were particularly aggressive.[11] The beginning of the 18th century marked the zenith of the Kazakh Khanate. During this period the Little Horde participated in the 1723–1730 war against the Dzungars, following their "Great Disaster" invasion of Kazakh territories. Under leadership Abul Khair Khan the Kazakhs won major victories over the Dzungar at the Bulanty River, in 1726, and at the Battle of Anrakay in 1729.[12] Ablai Khan participated in the most significant battles against the Dzungars from the 1720s to the 1750s, for which he was declared a "batyr" ("hero") by the people. Kazakhs were also a victims of constant raids carried out by the Volga Kalmyks.

Russian Empire

Abay Qunanbayuli, Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher
In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand, and spread into Central Asia. The "Great Game" period is generally regarded as running from approximately 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. The tsars effectively ruled over most of the territory belonging to what is now the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Russian Empire introduced a system of administration and built military garrisons and barracks in its effort to establish a presence in Central Asia in the so-called "Great Game" between it and the British Empire. The first Russian outpost, Orsk, was built in 1735. Russia enforced the Russian language in all schools and governmental organisations. Russian efforts to impose its system aroused the extreme resentment by the Kazakh people, and by the 1860s, most Kazakhs resisted Russia's annexation largely because of the disruption it wrought upon the traditional nomadic lifestyle and livestock-based economy, and the associated hunger which was rapidly wiping out some Kazakh tribes. The Kazakh national movement, which began in the late 1800s, sought to preserve the native language and identity by resisting the attempts of the Russian Empire to assimilate and stifle them.
From the 1890s onwards ever-larger numbers of settlers from Russian Empire began colonising the territory of present-day Kazakhstan, in particular the province of Semirechye. The number of settlers rose still further once the Trans-Aral Railway from Orenburg to Tashkent was completed in 1906, and the movement was overseen and encouraged by a specially created Migration Department (Переселенческое Управление) in St. Petersburg. During the 19th century about 400,000 Russians immigrated to Kazakhstan, and about one million Slavs, Germans, Jews, and others immigrated to the region during the first third of the 20th century.[13]
.The competition for land and water which ensued between the Kazakhs and the newcomers caused great resentment against colonial rule during the final years of Tsarist Russia, with the most serious uprising, the Central Asian Revolt, occurring in 1916. The Kazakhs attacked Russian and Cossack settlers and military garrisons.^ In fact, the International Helsinki Federation compared the new Central Asian States' laws and identified Kazakhstan's labor laws to be the most regressive for gender equality.
  • Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.stopvaw.org [Source type: Academic]

The revolt resulted in a series of clashes and in brutal massacres committed by both sides.[14] The Russians' revenge was merciless. A military force drove 300,000 Kazakhs to flee into the mountains or to China. When approximately 80,000 of them returned the next year, many of them were slaughtered by Tsarist forces. During the 1921–22 famine, another million Kazakhs died from starvation.

Kazakh SSR

Almaty, the Soviet-era capital of Kazakhstan.
Although there was a brief period of autonomy (Alash Autonomy) during the tumultuous period following the collapse of the Russian Empire, many uprisings were brutally suppressed, and the Kazakhs eventually succumbed to Soviet rule. .In 1920, the area of present-day Kazakhstan became an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union.^ A campaign against Greeks in the Soviet Union began in 1937-1939, and Pontic (or Black Sea) Greeks were deported to Kazakhstan from border zones in Georgia and Ukraine.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Later that year about 10,000 members of the Democratic Army of Greece, the Greek Communist Party and their supporters became political refugees in the Soviet Union.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Many of these European minorities were to increasingly leave Kazakhstan as the Soviet Union started to disintegrate.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

Soviet repression of the traditional elite, along with forced collectivization in late 1920s–1930s, brought mass hunger and led to unrest (See also: Soviet famine of 1932–1933).[15] Between 1926 and 1939, the Kazakh population declined by 22%, due to starvation, violence and mass emigration. Today, the estimates suggest that the population of Kazakhstan would be closer to 20 million if there had been no starvation or massacre of Kazakhs. During the 1930s, many renowned Kazakh writers, thinkers, poets, politicians and historians were slaughtered on Stalin's orders, both as part of the repression and as a methodical pattern of suppressing Kazakh identity and culture. Soviet rule took hold, and a Communist apparatus steadily worked to fully integrate Kazakhstan into the Soviet system. In 1936 Kazakhstan became a Soviet republic. .Kazakhstan experienced population inflows of millions exiled from other parts of the Soviet Union during the 1930s and 1940s; many of the deportation victims were deported to Siberia or Kazakhstan merely due to their ethnic heritage or beliefs, and were in many cases interned in some of the biggest Soviet labour camps, including ALZHIR camp outside Astana, which was reserved for the wives of men considered "enemies of the people".[16] (See also: Population transfer in the Soviet Union, Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union.^ Furthermore, trafficking victims from other countries entering Kazakhstan illegally were often fined and deported.
  • Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.stopvaw.org [Source type: Academic]

)
The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic contributed five national divisions to the Soviet Union's World War II effort. In 1947, two years after the end of the war, the Semipalatinsk Test Site, the USSR's main nuclear weapon test site was founded near the city of Semey.
The period of World War II marked an increase in industrialisation and increased mineral extraction in support of the war effort. At the time of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's death, however, Kazakhstan still had an overwhelmingly agricultural-based economy. In 1953, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev initiated the ambitious "Virgin Lands" program to turn the traditional pasture lands of Kazakhstan into a major grain-producing region for the Soviet Union. The Virgin Lands policy brought mixed results. However, along with later modernizations under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, it accelerated the development of the agricultural sector which remains the source of livelihood for a large percentage of Kazakhstan's population. By 1959, Kazakhs made up 30% of the population. Ethnic Russians accounted for 43%.
Growing tensions within Soviet society led to a demand for political and economic reforms, which came to a head in the 1980s. A factor that has contributed to this immensely was Lavrentii Beria's decision to test a nuclear bomb on the territory of Kazakh SSR in Semey in 1949. This had a catastrophic ecological and biological effect which was felt generations later, and Kazakh anger toward the Soviet system has escalated.
In December 1986, mass demonstrations by young ethnic Kazakhs, later called Jeltoqsan riot, took place in Almaty to protest the replacement of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Konayev with Gennady Kolbin from the Russian SFSR. Governmental troops suppressed the unrest, several people were killed and many demonstrators were jailed. In the waning days of Soviet rule, discontent continued to grow and find expression under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost.
The Bayterek tower in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan

Independence

Caught up in the groundswell of Soviet republics seeking greater autonomy, Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty as a republic within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in October 1990. Following the August 1991 aborted coup attempt in Moscow and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan declared independence on December 16, 1991. It was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence.
The years following independence have been marked by significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy and political monopoly on power. .Under Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initially came to power in 1989 as the head of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and was eventually elected President in 1991, Kazakhstan has made significant progress toward developing a market economy.^ Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991 and has remained firmly under the control of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had initially come to power in 1989 as the head of the Kazakh Communist Party.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Though nominally a democracy, Kazakhstan is generally perceived as having increasingly moved towards a more authoritarian regime in recent years under the full control of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The protection of rights under the Constitution and legislation is deeply flawed in Kazakhstan in the absence of an independent judiciary (judges are appointed and dismissed by the President).
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

.The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves.^ While large numbers of minorities such as the Germans, Greeks and others have left the country since independence, the relatively high economic growth rates since 2000 due to its large oil, gas and mineral reserves and the long-standing presence of some of the Slavic and Turkic minorities – especially the Russian minority who are a majority in the northern part of the country – suggests that there are factors which might lead many to remain.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Reactions from countries with an interest in the region’s minorities, and especially Russia, have been relatively muted in the last few years, because of strategic and economic interests (linked to its significant oil and gas resources, a large part of which transits via Russia).
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

.Democracy, however, has not gained much ground since 1991.[17] In 2007, Kazakhstan's parliament passed a law granting President Nursultan Nazarbayev lifetime powers and privileges, immunity from criminal prosecution, and influence over domestic and foreign policy.^ In elections in August 2007, Mr Nazarbayev’s party won 88% of the vote and all the seats in parliament.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Though nominally a democracy, Kazakhstan is generally perceived as having increasingly moved towards a more authoritarian regime in recent years under the full control of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991 and has remained firmly under the control of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had initially come to power in 1989 as the head of the Kazakh Communist Party.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

[17][18] Critics say he has become a de facto "president for life."[18][19][20]
Over the course of his ten years in power, Nazarbayev has repeatedly censored the press through arbitrary use of "privacy" laws,[21] and refused demands that the governors of Kazakhstan's 14 provinces be elected, rather than appointed by the president.

Government and politics

President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev

Political system

Kazakhstan is a presidential republic. The president is Nursultan Nazarbayev. The president also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. The prime minister chairs the Cabinet of Ministers and serves as Kazakhstan's head of government. There are three deputy prime ministers and 16 ministers in the Cabinet. Karim Massimov has served as the Prime Minister since January 10, 2007.
Kazakhstan has a bicameral Parliament, made up of the lower house (the Majilis) and upper house (the Senate). Single mandate districts popularly elect 67 seats in the Majilis; there also are ten members elected by party-list vote rather than by single mandate districts. The Senate has 39 members. Two senators are selected by each of the elected assemblies (Maslikhats) of Kazakhstan's 16 principal administrative divisions (14 provinces, plus the cities of Astana and Almaty). The president appoints the remaining seven senators. Majilis deputies and the government both have the right of legislative initiative, though the government proposes most legislation considered by the Parliament.

Elections

Elections to the Majilis in September 2004 yielded a lower house dominated by the pro-government Otan Party, headed by President Nazarbayev. Two other parties considered sympathetic to the president, including the agrarian-industrial bloc AIST and the Asar Party, founded by President Nazarbayev's daughter, won most of the remaining seats. Opposition parties, which were officially registered and competed in the elections, won a single seat during elections that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards.
In 1999, Kazakhstan applied for observer status at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. The official response of the Assembly was that Kazakhstan could apply for full membership, because it is partially located in Europe, but that they would not be granted any status whatsoever at the Council until their democracy and human rights records improved.
On December 4, 2005, Nursultan Nazarbayev was reelected in a landslide victory. The electoral commission announced that he had won over 90% of the vote. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded the election did not meet international standards despite some improvements in the administration of the election. Xinhua News Agency reported that observers from the People's Republic of China, responsible in overseeing 25 polling stations in Astana, found that voting in those polls was conducted in a "transparent and fair" manner.[22]
A sign for the Otan (Fatherland) Party, the former ruling party of Kazakhstan
.On August 17, 2007, elections to the lower house of parliament were held with the ruling Otan Party coalition winning every seat with 88% of the vote.^ In elections in August 2007, Mr Nazarbayev’s party won 88% of the vote and all the seats in parliament.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

None of the opposition parties have reached the benchmark 7% level of the seats. This has led some in the local media to question the competence and charisma of the opposition party leaders. Opposition parties made accusations of serious irregularities in the election.[23][24]

Intelligence Services

Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (KNB) was established on June 13, 1992. It includes the Service of Internal Security, Military Counterintelligence, Border Guard, several Commando units, and Foreign Intelligence (Barlau). The latter is considered by many as the most important part of KNB. Its director is Major General Omirtai Bitimov.

Geography

Map of Kazakhstan
With an area of 2.7 million square kilometers (1.05 million sq. mi), Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country and the largest landlocked country in the world. It is equivalent to the size of Western Europe. .It shares borders of 6,846 kilometers (4,254 mi) with Russia, 2,203 kilometers (1,369 mi) with Uzbekistan, 1,533 kilometers (953 mi) with China, 1,051 kilometers (653 mi) with Kyrgyzstan, and 379 kilometers (235 mi) with Turkmenistan.^ It borders Russia to the north, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south and the People’s Republic of China to the east, and it shares the Aral Sea with Uzbekistan.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

Major cities include Astana, Almaty, Karagandy, Shymkent, Atyrau and Oskemen. While located primarily in Asia, a small portion of Kazakhstan is also located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe.[25]
.The terrain extends west to east from the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains and north to south from the plains of Western Siberia to the oases and deserts of Central Asia.^ It borders Russia to the north, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south and the People’s Republic of China to the east, and it shares the Aral Sea with Uzbekistan.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ In 1949 Greeks from Ukraine, southern Russia and the Caucasus were sent to Central Asia and Siberia as a part of Stalin’s anti-Tito drive.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

The Kazakh Steppe (plain), with an area of around 804,500 square kilometres (310,600 sq. mi), occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest dry steppe region. The steppe is characterized by large areas of grasslands and sandy regions. Important rivers and lakes include: the Aral Sea, Ili River, Irtysh River, Ishim River, Ural River, Syr Darya, Charyn River and gorge, Lake Balkhash and Lake Zaysan.
Charyn Canyon in northern Tian Shan
The climate is continental, with warm summers and colder winters. Precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions.
The Charyn Canyon is 150–300 metres deep and 80 kilometres long, cutting through the red sandstone plateau and stretching along the Charyn River gorge in northern Tian Shan ("Heavenly Mountains", 200 km east of Almaty) at 43°21′1.16″N 79°4′49.28″E / 43.3503222°N 79.0803556°E / 43.3503222; 79.0803556. The steep canyon slopes, columns and arches rise to heights of 150–300 m. The inaccessibility of the canyon provided a safe haven for a rare ash tree that survived the Ice Age and is now also grown in some other areas. Bigach crater is a Pliocene or Miocene asteroid impact crater, 8 kilometres (5 mi) in diameter and estimated at 5 ±3 million years old at 48°30′N 82°00′E / 48.5°N 82°E / 48.5; 82.

Provinces

Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces (Kazakh: облыстар, oblıstar). The provinces are subdivided into districts (Kazakh: аудандар, awdandar).
Province Capital Area (km.²) Population
Akmola Kokshetau 121,400 0,829,000
Aktobe Aktobe 300,600 0,661,000
Almaty(1) Almaty 000,324.8 1,226,300
Almaty Province Taldykorgan 224,000 0,860,000
Astana(1) Astana 000,710.2 0,600,200
Atyrau Atyrau 118,600 0,380,000
Baikonur(2) Baikonur 000,057 0,070,000
East Kazakhstan Oskemen 283,300 0,897,000
Jambyl Taraz 144,000 0,962,000
Karagandy Karagandy 428,000 1,287,000
Kostanay Kostanay 196,000 0,975,000
Kyzylorda Kyzylorda 226,000 0,590,000
Mangystau Aktau 165,600 0,316,847
North Kazakhstan Petropavl 123,200 0,586,000
Pavlodar Pavlodar 124,800 0,851,000
South Kazakhstan Shymkent 118,600 1,644,000
West Kazakhstan Oral 151,300 0,599,000
Kazakhstan provinces.svg
Notes:[2]
  • (1) Almaty and Astana cities have the status of State importance and do not relate to any province.
  • (2) Baikonur city has a special status because it is currently being leased to Russia with Baikonur cosmodrome until 2050.
Each province is headed by an Akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal Akims are appointed by province Akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on December 10, 1997.

Economy

Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world's oldest and largest operational space launch facility
The capital Astana
Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city
Buoyed by high world crude oil prices, GDP growth figures were in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005: 9.8%, 13.2%, 9.5%, 9.2%, 9.4%, and 9.2%, respectively. Other major exports of Kazakhstan include wheat, textiles, and livestock. Kazakhstan forecasts that it will become the world's leading exporter of uranium by the year 2010.
Its principal challenge since 2002 has been to manage strong foreign currency inflows without sparking inflation. Since that time, inflation has not been under strict control, registering 6.6% in 2002, 6.8% in 2003, and 6.4% in 2004.
In 2000 Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet republic to repay all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 7 years ahead of schedule. In March 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted Kazakhstan market economy status under U.S. trade law. This change in status recognized substantive market economy reforms in the areas of currency convertibility, wage rate determination, openness to foreign investment, and government control over the means of production and allocation of resources.
In September 2002 Kazakhstan became the first country in the CIS to receive an investment-grade credit rating from a major international credit rating agency. As of late December 2003, Kazakhstan's gross foreign debt was about $22.9 billion. Total governmental debt was $4.2 billion. This amounts to 14% of GDP. There has been a noticeable reduction in the ratio of debt to GDP observed in past years; the ratio of total governmental debt to GDP in 2000 was 21.7%, in 2001 it was 17.5%, and in 2002 it was 15.4%.
The upturn in economic growth, combined with the results of earlier tax and financial sector reforms, has dramatically improved government finances from the 1999 budget deficit level of 3.5% of GDP to a deficit of 1.2% of GDP in 2003. Government revenues grew from 19.8% of GDP in 1999 to 22.6% of GDP in 2001, but decreased to 16.2% of GDP in 2003. In 2000, Kazakhstan adopted a new tax code in an effort to consolidate these gains.
On November 29, 2003 the Law on Changes to Tax Code was adopted, which reduced tax rates. The value added tax fell from 16% to 15%, the social tax from 21% to 20%, and the personal income tax from 30% to 20%. (On July 7, 2006 the personal income tax was reduced even further to a flat rate of 5% for personal income in the form of dividends and 10% for other personal income.) Kazakhstan furthered its reforms by adopting a new land code on June 20, 2003, and a new customs code on April 5, 2003.
Energy is the leading economic sector. Production of crude oil and natural gas condensate in Kazakhstan amounted to 51.2 million tons in 2003, which was 8.6% more than in 2002. Kazakhstan raised oil and gas condensate exports to 44.3 million tons in 2003, 13% higher than in 2002. Gas production in Kazakhstan in 2003 amounted to 13.9 billion cubic meters (491 billion cu. ft), up 22.7% compared to 2002, including natural gas production of 7.3 billion cubic meters (258 billion cu. ft);
Kazakhstan holds about 4 billion tons of proven recoverable oil reserves and 2,000 cubic kilometers (480 cu mi) of gas. Industry analysts believe that planned expansion of oil production, coupled with the development of new fields, will enable the country to produce as much as 3 million barrels (477,000 m³) per day by 2015, lifting Kazakhstan into the ranks of the world's top 10 oil-producing nations. Kazakhstan's 2003 oil exports were valued at more than $7 billion, representing 65% of overall exports and 24% of the GDP. Major oil and gas fields and their recoverable oil reserves are Tengiz with 7 billion barrels (1.1 km³); Karachaganak with 8 billion barrels (1.3 km³) and 1,350 km³ of natural gas); and Kashagan with 7 to 9 billion barrels (1.1 to 1.4 km³).
Kazakhstan instituted an ambitious pension reform program in 1998. As of January 1, 2005, the pension assets were about $4.1 billion. There are 16 saving pension funds in the republic. The State Accumulating Pension Fund, the only state-owned fund, could be privatized as early as 2006. The country's unified financial regulatory agency oversees and regulates the pension funds. The pension funds' growing demand for quality investment outlets triggered rapid development of the debt securities market. Pension fund capital is being invested almost exclusively in corporate and government bonds, including Government of Kazakhstan Eurobonds.
The Kazakhstani banking system is developing rapidly. The banking system's capitalization now exceeds $1 billion. The National Bank has introduced deposit insurance in its campaign to strengthen the banking sector. Several major foreign banks have branches in Kazakhstan, including RBS, Citibank, and HSBC. Raiffeisen Zentralbank and UniCredit have both recently entered the Kazakhstan's financial services market through acquisitions and stake-building.
Despite the strength of Kazakhstan's economy for most of the first decade of the 21st century, the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 has exposed some central weaknesses in the country's economy. The year on year growth of Kazakhstan's GDP dropped 19.81% in 2008. Four of the major banks were rescued by the government at the end of 2008 and real estate prices have sharply dropped.

Agriculture

Agriculture accounted for 10.3% of Kazakhstan's GDP in 2005.[26] Grain (Kazakhstan is the seventh-largest producer in the world) and livestock are the most important agricultural commodities. Agricultural land occupies more than 846,000 square kilometres (327,000 sq. mi). The available agricultural land consists of 205,000 square kilometres (79,000 sq. mi) of arable land and 611,000 square kilometres (236,000 sq. mi) of pasture and hay land.
Chief livestock products are dairy products, leather, meat, and wool. The country's major crops include wheat, barley, cotton, and rice. Wheat exports, a major source of hard currency, rank among the leading commodities in Kazakhstan's export trade. In 2003 Kazakhstan harvested 17.6 million tons of grain in gross, 2.8% higher compared to 2002. Kazakh agriculture still has many environmental problems from mismanagement during its years in the Soviet Union. Some Kazakh wine is produced in the mountains to the east of Almaty.
Kazakhstan is thought to be one of the original homes of the apple, particularly the wild ancestor of Malus domestica, Malus sieversii. It has no common name in English, but is known in Kazakhstan, where it is native, as 'alma'. In fact, the region where it is thought to originate is called Almaty, or 'rich with apple'.[27] This tree is still found wild in the mountains of Central Asia in southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Xinjiang, China.

Natural resources

Headquarters of KazMunayGaz, the national oil and gas company
Kazakhstan has an abundant supply of accessible mineral and fossil fuel resources. Development of petroleum, natural gas, and mineral extraction has attracted most of the over $40 billion in foreign investment in Kazakhstan since 1993 and accounts for some 57% of the nation's industrial output (or approximately 13% of gross domestic product). According to some estimates,[28] Kazakhstan has the second largest uranium, chromium, lead, and zinc reserves, the third largest manganese reserves, the fifth largest copper reserves, and ranks in the top ten for coal, iron, and gold. It is also an exporter of diamonds. Perhaps most significant for economic development, Kazakhstan also currently has the 11th largest proven reserves of both oil and natural gas.[29]
In total, there are 160 deposits with over 2.7 billion tons of petroleum. Oil explorations have shown that the deposits on the Caspian shore are only a small part of a much larger deposit. It is said that 3.5 billion tons of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic meters of gas could be found in that area. Overall the estimate of Kazakhstan's oil deposits is 6.1 billion tons. However, there are only 3 refineries within the country, situated in Atyrau, Pavlodar, and Shymkent. These are not capable of processing the total crude output so much of it is exported to Russia. In 2006, Kazakhstan was producing approximately 1,426 million barrels (226,700,000 m3) of oil and 23.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually.[30]

Foreign relations and armed forces

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev with then U.S. President George W. Bush, 2006

Foreign relations

Kazakhstan has stable relationships with all of its neighbors. Kazakhstan is also a member of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It is an active participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Partnership for Peace program.
Kazakhstan is also a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. .The nations of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan established the Eurasian Economic Community in 2000 to re-energize earlier efforts at harmonizing trade tariffs and the creation of a free trade zone under a customs union.^ A campaign against Greeks in the Soviet Union began in 1937-1939, and Pontic (or Black Sea) Greeks were deported to Kazakhstan from border zones in Georgia and Ukraine.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

On December 1, 2007, it was revealed that Kazakhstan has been chosen to chair OSCE for the year 2010.
.Since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has pursued what is known as the multidimensional foreign policy (многовекторная внешняя политика), seeking equally good relations with two large neighbors, Russia and China, and the United States and the West generally.^ The government of Kazakhstan has since 1991-1992 embarked on a programme of ‘Kazakhization’ of the country which highlights the prominence of the Kazakh language and increasing the presence and even domination of ethnic Kazakhs in the government bureaucracy.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The impact of these policies means that though they are now the largest ethnic group within Kazakhstan, the Kazakhs were a minority at the time of independence in 1991.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

[31][32] The policy has yielded results in the oil and gas sector, where companies from the U.S., Russia, China, and Europe are present at all major fields, and in the multidimensional directions of oil export pipelines out of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan also enjoys strong, and rapidly developing, political and economic ties with Turkey. In 2011, and possibly as early as 2010, Kazakhstan plans to form a customs union with Russia and Belarus.[33]
Russia currently leases approximately 6,000 km² (2,300 mi²) of territory enclosing the Baikonur Cosmodrome space launch site in south central Kazakhstan, where the first man was launched into space as well as Soviet space shuttle Buran and the well-known space station Mir.

Armed forces

Kazakhstani Republican Guard
Most of Kazakhstan's military was inherited from the Soviet Armed Forces' Turkestan Military District. These units became the core of Kazakhstan's new military which acquired all the units of the 40th Army (the former 32nd Army) and part of the 17th Army Corps, including 6 land force divisions, storage bases, the 14th and 35th air-landing brigades, 2 rocket brigades, 2 artillery regiments and a large amount of equipment which had been withdrawn from over the Urals after the signing of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The largest expansion of the Kazakhstan Army has been focused on armored units in recent years. Since 1990, armored units have expanded from 500 to 1,613 in 2005.
The Kazakh air force is composed mostly of Soviet-era planes, including 41 MiG-29s, 44 MiG-31s, 37 Su-24s and 60 Su-27s. A small naval force is also maintained on the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan sent 49 military engineers to Iraq to assist the US post-invasion mission in Iraq.

Demographics

.The US Census Bureau International Database list the current population of Kazakhstan as 16,763,795, while United Nations sources such as the World Bank give a 2002 estimate of 14,794,830. The last 10-year census, held 28 February to 6 March 2009, gave as result a total of 16,004,800 people registered in Kazakhstan[1].^ The census in that year saw Kazakhs attain a majority with 53.4 percent of the population, with the Russian minority falling to 29.9 percent.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Kazakhstan has seen dramatic emigration in the last decade: nearly 2 million people, mainly Russian (approximately 28 per cent of the population) and other non-Kazak minorities, are believed to have left the country.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ So-called ‘punished peoples’ were deported to Kazakhstan before and during the Second World War.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

The ethnic Kazakhs represent 65% of the population and ethnic Russians 24%,[1] with a rich array of other groups represented, including Tatars, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Belarusians, Uyghurs, Azerbaijanis, Poles[34], and Lithuanians. Some minorities such as Germans who had previously settled in Russia (especially Volga Germans), Ukrainians, Koreans, Kurds, Chechens,[35] Meskhetian Turks, and Russian political opponents of the regime had been deported to Kazakhstan in the 1930s and 1940s by Stalin; some of the bigger Soviet labour camps (Gulag) existed in the country.[36]
Significant Russian immigration also connected with Virgin Lands Campaign and Soviet space program during Khrushchev era.[37] There is also a small but active Jewish community. Before 1991 there were one million Germans in Kazakhstan; most of them emigrated to Germany following the breakup of the Soviet Union.[38] Most members of the smaller Pontian Greek minority have emigrated to Greece. In the late 1930s thousands of Koreans in the Soviet Union were deported to Central Asia. These people are now known as Koryo-saram.
Kazakhstan is a bilingual country: the Kazakh language, spoken by 64.4% of the population, has the status of the "state" language, while Russian, which is spoken by almost all Kazakhstanis, is declared the "official" language, and is used routinely in business. .English gained its popularity among the youth since the collapse of USSR and 30% of megapolis dwellers, especially younger generations are fluent in English, another spoken foreign tongues which are more or less popular among Kazakhstanis is Turkish due to its proximity to the state language of Kazakhstan which is Kazakh.^ While the influence and pre-eminence of the Russian language in the business and political fields have not been supplanted by the initial language laws (naming Kazakh as the state language and Russian as an ‘official’ language), more recent legislative moves may exacerbate the fears and grievances which have in the last decade continued to be raised, mainly though not exclusively by members of the Russian and other Slavic minorities, especially those who consider themselves ‘indigenous’, as their families have lived in Kazakhstan for generations.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ In addition, it is reported that state authorities consistently provide state subsidies, but to Kazakh-language media only.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The government of Kazakhstan has since 1991-1992 embarked on a programme of ‘Kazakhization’ of the country which highlights the prominence of the Kazakh language and increasing the presence and even domination of ethnic Kazakhs in the government bureaucracy.
  • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

The ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia
The 1990s were marked by the emigration of many of the country's Russians and Volga Germans, a process that began in the 1970s; this was a major factor in giving the autochthonous Kazakhs a majority along with higher Kazakh birthrates and ethnic Kazakh immigration from the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, and Russia.
In the early twenty-first century, Kazakhstan has become one of the leading nations in international adoptions. This has recently sparked some criticism in the Parliament of Kazakhstan, due to the concerns about safety and treatment of the children abroad and the questions regarding the low level of population in Kazakhstan.

Terminology

The term Kazakhstani (Kazakh: қазақстандықтар, Qazaqstandıqtar; Russian: казахстанцы, kazakhstantsy) was coined to describe all citizens of Kazakhstan, including non-Kazakhs.[39] The word "Kazakh" is generally used to refer to people of ethnic Kazakh descent (including those living in China, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and other countries).
The ethnonym Kazakh is derived from an ancient Turkic word "independent, a free spirit". It is the result of Kazakhs' nomadic horseback culture. The Avestan/Old Persian (See Indo-European languages) word "-stan" means "land" or "place of", so "Kazakhstan" is "land of the Kazakhs".

Religion

The front of the Nur-Astana Mosque in Astana during the morning hours. Islam is the major religion of Kazakhstan, and the Nur-Astana is largest of its kind in the country.
Islam is the major and largest religion in Kazakhstan. After decades of religious suppression by the Soviet Union, the coming of independence witnessed a surge in expression of ethnic identity, partly through religion. The free practice of religious beliefs and the establishment of full freedom of religion led to an increase of religious activity. Hundreds of mosques, churches, synagogues, and other religious structures were built in the span of a few years, with the number of religious associations rising from 670 in 1990 to 4,170 today.[40]
Approximately 72% of the population are Muslim according to the 2009 census [41] mainly followed by the ethnic Kazakhs, who constitute about 65% the population, as well as by ethnic Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars. The majority are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school.[42] Less than 1% are part of the Sunni Shafi`i school (primarily Chechens). The southern region of the country has the highest concentration of self-identified practicing Muslims. There are a total of 2,300 mosques,[40] all of them are affiliated with the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a supreme mufti.[43] The Eid al-Adha is recognized as a national holiday.[40]
One third of the population is Russian Orthodox, including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Other Christian groups include Roman Catholics and Protestants.[42] There are a total of 258 Orthodox churches, 93 Catholic churches, and over 500 Protestant churches and prayer houses. The Russian Orthodox Christmas is recognized as a national holiday in Kazakhstan.[40] Other religious groups include Judaism, the Bahá'í Faith, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[42]

Education

Education is universal and mandatory through to the secondary level and the adult literacy rate is 99.5%. Education consists of three main educational phases: primary education (forms 1–4), basic general education (forms 5–9) and senior level education (forms 10–11 or 12) divided into continued general education and professional education. (Primary education is preceded by one year of pre-school education.) These three levels of education can be followed in one institution or in different ones (e.g. primary school, then secondary school). Recently, several secondary schools, specialized schools, magnet schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, linguistic and technical gymnasiums, have been founded. Secondary professional education is offered in special professional or technical schools, lyceums or colleges and vocational schools.
At present, there are universities, academies, and institutes, conservatories, higher schools and higher colleges. There are three main levels: basic higher education that provides the fundamentals of the chosen field of study and leads to the award of the Bachelor's degree; specialized higher education after which students are awarded the Specialist's Diploma; and scientific-pedagogical higher education which leads to the Master's Degree. Postgraduate education leads to the Kandidat nauk (Candidate of Sciences) and the Doctor of Sciences. With the adoption of the Laws on Education and on Higher Education, a private sector has been established and several private institutions have been licensed.
The Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan runs a highly successful Bolashak scholarship, which is annually awarded to approximately three thousand applicants. The scholarship funds their education in institutions abroad, including the prestigious University College London, Oxford and Ivy League universities. The terms of the program include mandatory return to Kazakhstan for at least five years of employment.

Sports

Alexander Koreshkov, HC Barys vs HC Dinamo Moscow match
  • Football is the most popular sport in Kazakhstan. .The Football Federation of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстанның Футбол Федерациясы, Qazaqstannıñ fwtbol federacïyası) is the sport's national governing body.^ The government of Kazakhstan has since 1991-1992 embarked on a programme of ‘Kazakhization’ of the country which highlights the prominence of the Kazakh language and increasing the presence and even domination of ethnic Kazakhs in the government bureaucracy.
    • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

    The FFK organises the men's, women's and futsal national teams.
  • Ice hockey - The Kazakhstani national ice hockey team has competed in ice hockey in the 1998 and 2006 Winter Olympics as well as in the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. Kazakhstan has 7 teams. The teams are Kaztsink-Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhmys Satpayev, Gornyak Rudnyi, Barys Astana, Irtysh Pavlodar, Yenbek Almaty, Sary-Arka Qaragandy.
    Top Kazakhstani ice hockey players include Nikolai Antropov and Evgeni Nabokov. Barys Astana - a major professional Ice Hockey team play in the Kontinental Hockey League.
  • Cycling - Kazakhstan's most famous cyclist is Alexander Vinokourov, although cycling is a popular activity throughout the country. Vinokourov had an impressive cycling record while riding for the Telekom/T-Mobile teams early in his career. He won the silver medal in road cycling in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and finished third overall in the 2003 Tour de France. After moving to the Liberty Seguros team, Vinokourov finished 5th in the 2005 Tour de France, while two other young Kazakhstanis, Andrej Kashechkin and Maksim Iglinskiy, finished 19th and 37th, respectively. In 2006 Vinokourov's team became known as Astana after a drug doping scandal forced his team Liberty Seguros from the 2006 Tour de France. Vinokourov then helped form a new team, Astana, named for the capital of Kazakhstan and funded by a conglomeration of Kazakhstan businesses, which adopted the color of the Kazakh flag for its uniforms. That same year, Vinokourov and Kashechkin took first and third places in general classification in the 2006 Vuelta a España in Spain.
  • In July 2007, Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping during the 2007 Tour de France and was disqualified from the race, although he was in the lead at the time. He was only banned for a year by the Kazakhstan cycling federation, but his suspension was increased to the internationally mandated two years by the UCI (International Cycling Federation). In addition, Kashechkin was also found guilty of blood doping and was also suspended for two years, and Astana was subsequently banned from the 2008 Tour de France. At that time, Vinokourov announced his retirement.
  • The Astana cycling team continued under new management and continued to include Kazakhstan riders in the Grand Tours of cycling, although race leadership of the team passed to the Spaniard Alberto Contador and the Americans Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer. However, in September 2008, Vinokourov announced his intention to unretire and to return to cycling in 2009, and he returned in August 2009, although he has still not been permitted to rejoin Astana.
  • Boxing - Since its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan's boxers have won many medals. .Due to that Kazakhstan quickly went up in all-time medal table of Olympic Games in boxing, where the country jumped from the lowest starting rank to current 11th rank among all other countries.^ A multiple entry business visa allows nationals of all countries to stay in Kazakhstan up to 90 days out of the period of 180 days.
    • Kazakhstan Visa Online. Tourist, Business, Multiple-Entry Travel Visa Support Services - Kazakhstan Visa Requirements, Embassy & Consulate Forms. Visas to all CIS Countries. 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.visatorussia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .As of now, 2 Kazakh boxers (Bakhtiyar Artayev, Vassiliy Jirov) have earned Val Barker Trophy, making Kazakhstan second from the top falling only 3 medals behind from USA.
  • Equestrian sports are also popular in Kazakhstan.^ The impact of these policies means that though they are now the largest ethnic group within Kazakhstan, the Kazakhs were a minority at the time of independence in 1991.
    • Minority Rights Group International : Kazakhstan : Kazakhstan Overview 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.minorityrights.org [Source type: Original source]

    Since 1993 Equestrian Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been organizing National and International events in Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Endurance.[citation needed]
  • Bandy - The national team is among the best and has twice won the bronze medal at the Bandy World Championships. During the Soviet time, Dynamo Alma-Ata won the national championships in 1977 and 1990.

Culture

Riders in traditional dress demonstrate Kazakhstan's equestrian culture by playing a kissing game, Kyz kuu ("Chase the Girl"), one of a number of traditional games played on horseback.[44]
A Kazakh wedding party in Almaty
Before the Russian colonization, the Kazakhs had a highly developed culture based on their nomadic pastoral economy. Although Islam was introduced to most of the Kazakhs in the fifteenth century, the religion was not fully assimilated until much later. As a result, it coexisted with earlier elements of Tengriism.
Traditional Kazakh belief held that separate spirits inhabited and animated the earth, sky, water and fire, as well as domestic animals. To this day, particularly honored guests in rural settings are treated to a feast of freshly killed lamb. Such guests are sometimes asked to bless the lamb and to ask its spirit for permission to partake of its flesh. Besides lamb, many other traditional foods retain symbolic value in Kazakh culture.
In the national cuisine, livestock meat can be cooked in a variety of ways and is usually served with a wide assortment of traditional bread products. Refreshments often include black tea and traditional milk-derived drinks such as ayran, shubat and kymyz. A traditional Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetisers on the table, followed by a soup and one or two main courses such as pilaf and beshbarmak. They also drink their national beverage, which consists of fermented mare's milk.
Because livestock was central to the Kazakhs' traditional lifestyle, most of their nomadic practices and customs relate in some way to livestock. Kazakhs have historically been very passionate about horse-riding. Traditional curses and blessings invoked disease or fecundity among animals, and good manners required that a person ask first about the health of a man's livestock when greeting him and only afterward inquire about the human aspects of his life. Even today, many Kazakhs express interest in equestrianism and horse-racing.
Kazakhstan is home to a large number of prominent contributors to literature, science and philosophy: Abay Qunanbayuli, Al-Farabi, Mukhtar Auezov, Gabit Musirepov, Kanysh Satpayev, Mukhtar Shakhanov, Saken Seyfullin, Jambyl Jabayev, among many others.
Kazakhstan has developed itself as a formidable sports-force on the world arena in the following fields: boxing, chess, kickboxing, skiing, gymnastics, water-polo, cycling, martial arts, heavy-athletics, horse-riding, tri-athlon, track-hurdles, sambo, greco-roman wrestling and billiards. The following are all well-known Kazakhstani athletes and world-championship medalists: Bekzat Sattarkhanov, Vassiliy Jirov, Alexander Vinokourov, Bulat Jumadilov, Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov, Olga Shishigina, Andrey Kashechkin, Aliya Yussupova, Dmitriy Karpov, Darmen Sadvakasov, Yeldos Ikhsangaliyev, Aidar Kabimollayev, Yermakhan Ibraimov, Vladimir Smirnov, among others.
Kazakhstan features a lively music culture, evident in massive popularity of SuperStar KZ, a local offspring of Simon Fuller's Pop Idol. Almaty is considered to be the musical capital of the Central Asia, recently enjoying concerts by well-known artists such as Deep Purple, Tokio Hotel, Atomic Kitten, Dima Bilan, Loon, Craig David, The Black Eyed Peas, Eros Ramazzotti, José Carreras, Ace of Base, among others.
During the recent years, Kazakhstan has experienced somewhat of a revival of the Kazakh language,[45] which is returning into mainstream usage both in media, law and business, as well as the general society. This is widely approved by Kazakh people and the international organizations as a way of preserving the national identity and culture[citation needed], but has in some cases caused anxiety among Russian-Kazakhstanis, Russia-sponsored special-interest groups in Kazakhstan and some high-ranking politicians in Russia[citation needed].
The Parliament is considering the introduction of Latin-based Kazakh alphabet to replace Cyrillic-based. The reasons that are popularly cited are cultural considerations[citation needed] and the Turkic nature of the Kazakh language. Turkic languages such as Turkish and Uzbek use the Latin alphabet. However, the imposition of the Latin alphabet in Kazakhstan would involve massive costs of transcription and replacement of the vast Kazakh literature.

Public holidays

Date English name Local name Notes
January 1 New Year's Day Жаңа жыл / Новый Год
January 7 Eastern Orthodox Christmas Рождество Христово from 2007 official holiday
Last day of Hajj Qurban Ayt* Құрбан айт
March 8 International Women's Day Халықаралық әйелдер күні / Международный женский день
March 22 Nauryz Meyramy Наурыз мейрамы Traditionally a springtime holiday marking the beginning of a new year, sometimes as late as April 21.
May 1 Kazakhstan People's Unity Day Қазақстан халқының бірлігі мерекесі / Праздник единства народа Казахстана
May 9 Great Patriotic War Against Fascism Victory Day Жеңіс күні / День Победы A holiday in the former Soviet Union carried over to present-day Kazakhstan and other former republics (Except Baltic Countries).
July 6 Capital City Day Астана күні / День столицы Birthday of the First President
August 30 Constitution Day Қазақстан Республикасының Конституциясы күні / День Конституции Республики Казахстан
December 16 Independence Day Тәуелсіздік күні / День независимости
* Eid al-Adha, the Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice.

International rankings

Organization Survey Ranking
Institute for Economics and Peace [1] Global Peace Index[46] 84 out of 144
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 82 out of 182
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 120 out of 180
World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 67 out of 133

See also

Bibliography

  • Epicenter of Peace, by Nursultan Nazarbayev
  • Kazakhstan: Coming of Age, by Michael Furgus and Janar Jandosova
  • Kazakhstan: Power and the Elite, by Sally Cummings
  • Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise, by Martha Brill Olcott
  • Lonely Planet Guide: Central Asia, by Paul Clammer, Michael Kohn and Bradley Mayhew
  • The Lost Heart of Asia, by Colin Thubron
  • Once in Kazakhstan: The Snow Leopard Emerges, by Keith Rosten
  • Post-Soviet Chaos: Violence and Dispossession in Kazakhstan, by Joma Nazpary
  • The Russian Colonization of Kazakhstan, by George Demko
  • Uneasy Alliance: Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the Post-Soviet Era — 1992–1997, by Mikhail Alexandrov
  • Journey into Kazakhstan: The True Face of the Nazarbayev Regime, by Alexandra George
  • Law and Custom in the Steppe, by Virginia Martin
  • Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?, by Ted Rall
  • In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared, by Christopher Robbins

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kazakhstan National Census 2009 preliminary results
  2. ^ a b c d "Kazakhstan". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=916&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=79&pr.y=16. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  3. ^ CIA World Factbook: Field listing, Distribution of family income – Gini index
  4. ^ Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan (ASRK). 2005. Main Demographic Indicators. Available at http://www.stat.kz
  5. ^ United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2007. "Kazakhstan" in The World Factbook. Book on-line. Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kz.html
  6. ^ Zarakhovich, Yuri (September 27, 2006). "Kazakhstan Comes on Strong", Time Magazine.
  7. ^ Medvedev Visit Underscores Kazakh Victory Over Uzbekistan For Regional Dominance Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  8. ^ CIA, The Word Factbook. Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kz.html
  9. ^ The constitution of Kazakhstan: 1. The state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be the Kazakh language. 2. In state institutions and local self-administrative bodies the Russian language shall be officially used on equal grounds along with the Kazakh language. Available at http://www.kazakhstan.orexca.com/kazakhstan_constitution.shtml
  10. ^ Kazakhstan to c. AD 1700
  11. ^ Country Briefings: Kazakhstan
  12. ^ "Kazakhstan". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  13. ^ Kazakhstan. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2009. Archived 2009-10-31.
  14. ^ The Kazakh Catastrophe and Stalin’s Order of Priorities, 1929–1933: Evidence from the Soviet Secret Archives
  15. ^ Children of the gulag live with amnesia, Taipei Times, January 1, 2007
  16. ^ a b Brill Olcott, Martha (2008-07-22). "When and How Will Kazakhstan Become A Democracy?". U.S. Helsinki Commission. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=20316. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  17. ^ a b Marat, Erica (2007-05-30), Nazarbayev Prevails Over Political Competitors, Family Members (05/30/2007 ed.), Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/4629, retrieved 2010-01-16 
  18. ^ World War 3 web site.
  19. ^ Central Asia-Caucasus Institute briefing, July 5, 2000.
  20. ^ Kazakh President Signs 'Privacy' Law, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2009-12-10, http://www.rferl.org/content/Kazakh_President_Signs_Privacy_Law/1900627.html, retrieved 2010-01-16 
  21. ^ Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev Wins Re-election With 91% of Vote
  22. ^ BBC NEWS World|Asia-Pacific|Kazakh poll fairness questioned
  23. ^ BBC NEWS World|Asia-Pacific|Q&A: Kazakhstan parliamentary election
  24. ^ "Kazakhstan - MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwsCUfGH. 
  25. ^ Background Note: Kazakhstan
  26. ^ The official site of Almaty city: History
  27. ^ Mineral Wealth.
  28. ^ International Crisis Group. 2007. Central Asia's Energy Risks, Asia Report No. 133. May. Available on-line at http://www.crisisgroup.org/
  29. ^ British Petroleum (BP). 2006. World Oil Production. Database on-line. Available at http://www.bp.com/
  30. ^ Blank, Stephen (April 27, 2005). "Kazakhstan's Foreign Policy in a Time of Turmoil". EurasiaNet. http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav042705.shtml. 
  31. ^ Cohen, Ariel (October 7, 2008). "Kazakh foreign minister insists balanced foreign policy remains intact". Business News Europe. http://www.businessneweurope.eu/story1291. 
  32. ^ "Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to begin work in 2010". Kazakhstan Today. April 7, 2009. http://www.kt.kz/index.php?lang=eng&uin=1133435534&chapter=1153482379. 
  33. ^ Kazakhstan's `forgotten Poles' long to return
  34. ^ Remembering Stalin's deportations, BBC News, February 23, 2004
  35. ^ Politics, economics and time bury memories of the Kazakh gulag, International Herald Tribune, January 1, 2007
  36. ^ Robert Greenall, Russians left behind in Central Asia, BBC, November 23, 2005
  37. ^ Kazakhstan: Special report on ethnic Germans, IRIN Asia, February 1, 2005
  38. ^ Surucu, Cengiz (December 2002). "Modernity, Nationalism, Resistance: Identity Politics in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan". Central Asian Survey 21: 385–402. doi:10.1080/0263493032000053208. 
  39. ^ a b c d Religious Situation Review in Kazakhstan Congress of World Religions. Retrieved on 2009-09-07.
  40. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2009 - Kazakhstan U.S. Department of State. 2009-10-26. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  41. ^ a b c Kazakhstan - International Religious Freedom Report 2008 U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 2009-09-07.
  42. ^ Islam in Kazakhstan Retrieved on 2009-09-07.
  43. ^ The Customs and Traditions of the Kazakh By Betsy Wagenhauser
  44. ^ Kazakhstan officials adopt low-key language policy EnerPub - Energy Publisher
  45. ^ "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/home.php. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 

External links

Government
General information


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Central Asia : Kazakhstan
noframe
Flag
Image:kz-flag.png
Quick Facts
Capital Astana
Government Republic
Currency Tenge (KZT)
Area total: 2,717,300 km2
water: 47,500 km2
land: 2,669,800 km2
Population 16,402,861 (July 2009 est.)
Language Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, .Russian (official, used in everyday business) 95% (2001 est.^ Russian is used routinely in business; 64.4% of the population speaks the Kazakh language.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In state institutions and local self-administrative bodies the Russian language shall be officially used on equal grounds along with the Kazak language.

^ Russian is used routinely in business; 64.4% of population speaks the Kazakh language.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

)
Religion Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
Electricity 220W
Calling Code 7
Time Zone GMT+5
.Kazakhstan is by far the largest of the Central Asia's states of the former USSR. It has borders with Russia, China, and the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.^ Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves as well as plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Border lengths: Russia 6,846 km., Uzbekistan 2,203 km., China 1,533 km., Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km., and Turkmenistan 379 km.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.It is the world's ninth biggest country by size, and it is more than twice the size of the other Central Asian states combined.^ FASTFACTS: Kazakhstan spans across Eurasia and is the ninth largest country in the world.
  • Kazakhstan Phone Cards | Kazakhstan Calling Cards - Cheap Kazakhstan Phone Card to Kazakhstan 16 September 2009 23:55 UTC www.phonecardsmile.com [Source type: News]

^ Kazakhstan, approximately 1 million square miles (2,717,300 square kilometers) in size, is in Central Asia, along the historic Silk Road that connected Europe with China more than two thousand years ago.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan ranks ninth in the world in geographic size (roughly the size of Western Europe) and is the largest country in the world without an ocean port.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Its lack of significant historical sites and endless featureless steppe have put many off Kazakhstan, while many still are captivated by the emptiness and mystery of this goliath state.^ If you're not a fan of endless semi-arid steppe and decaying industrial cities, Kazakhstan may seem bleak as a month old biscuit.
  • The Times of Central Asia on the Web 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.times.kg [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.It will be many travelers' first port of call on their Central Asian adventure, and there is much for the intrepid traveller to enjoy.^ While much of the control is centered in Astana with the president, legislature, and courts, there are fourteen provinces or states, called oblasts in Russian, with governors and certain rights.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Order Trumps Liberty for Many in Three Central Asian Nations: Ethnic Differences Brewing?, 2000.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Understand

.Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation.^ Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Nomadic tribes have been living in the region that is now Kazakhstan since the first century BC, although the land has been inhabited at least as far back as the Stone Age.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936.
.During the launching of the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures.^ The Virgin Lands policy, along with later modernizations under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, sped up the development of the agricultural sector, which to this day remains the source of livelihood for a large percentage of Kazakhstan's population.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In 1953, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev initiated the ambitious "Virgin Lands" program to turn the traditional pasturelands of Kazakhstan into a major grain-producing region for the Soviet Union.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ "The Virgin Lands between Memory and Forgetting: People and the Transformation of the Soviet Union, 1954–1960.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives.^ This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For 1999 the best estimates were Kazakhs 46 percent, Russians 34.7 percent, Ukrainians 4.9 percent, Germans 3.1 percent, Uzbeks 2.3 percent, Tartar 1.9 percent, and others 7.1 percent.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Independence has caused many of these newcomers to emigrate.^ Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.umsl.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Current issues include: Developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets (an oil pipeline to China has been built; the gas pipeline is under construction); achieving a sustainable economic growth outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.^ Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan's competitiveness; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Oil and gas is the leading economic sector.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Natural Resources Oil, gas, and mineral exports are key to Kazakhstan's economic success.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]


Almaty Province
Kazakhstani North
Kazakh Desert
Altai
Caspian Basin
.
Central Highlands
  • Astana (Aqmola) — 2nd largest city, and capital since December 1998. Worth visiting but you only need a few days to get to the most recommended sightseeings.^ The largest cities include Astana (capital) with a population of 602,480, Almaty (former capital) 1.3 million, Karaganda 453,400, Shymkent 545,400, Taraz 340,000, Ust-Kamenogorsk 310,000, Pavlodar 300,000.
    • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ Akims of the oblasts, major cities and the capital shall be appointed to office by the President of the Republic on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

    ^ The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.
    • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    The city is brand new and being built very rapidly. .If you want to see what Akmola (Astana previous name) looks like, you need to do it now as the old city is disappearing quite rapidly.
  • Atyrau — Oil capital of Kazakhstan, where large onshore Tengiz and offshore Kashagan oilfields are located.
  • Almaty — largest city, and capital prior to December 1998. Definitely a must-see.^ Do you need a map of Kazakhstan ?
    • →    Kazakhstan current time 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.timegenie.com [Source type: News]

    ^ The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.
    • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ In the energy sector, the opening of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity.
    • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    Beside the western-style city, you may want to go to the Medeu and other places in the nearby mountains.
  • Aktau — port city on the Caspian
  • Aktobe
  • Karaganda — Industrial city between Astana and Almaty; worth visiting if you like mining history.
  • Pavlodar — the oldest Russian city in the country, founded in 1720, closed until 1992 for its military significance in tank production, and home to one very impressive mosque, as well as other interesting Orthodox churches and various memorials
  • Shymkent — Kazakhstan's second largest city, an old market town located near Tashkent and some beautiful mountains; now booming with oil exploration
  • Turkestan — another ancient city, long a border town between the Persian culture to the south and the Turkic nomadic culture to the north, now majority Uzbek and home to several important cultural-historical monuments
  • Ust-Kamenogorsk — mining city in the Altai mountains

Get in

.Generally, nationals of almost any country will be required to obtain a visa to enter Kazakhstan.^ Kazakhstan entry visa is not required for citizens of Canada.
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Maximum stay in Kazakhstan: 30 days Group discounts Kazakhstan visa for citizens of Canada is required for more information please contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy .
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Tourist Visa required Business Visa required Adoption visa required 1   Select the type of Kazakhstan tourist visa application: .
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.However, nationals of certain countries may enjoy the simplified procedure for obtaining a visa.^ All travelers must obtain a Kazakhstani visa before entering the country.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.On presenting an application in writing, nationals of such countries may obtain a single entry tourist visa (up to 30 days) and double entry tourist visa (up to 60 days) at the relevant Kazakhstan diplomatic mission.^ Kazakhstan entry visa is not required for citizens of Canada.
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In 1920, the area of present-day Kazakhstan became an autonomous republic within Russia and, in 1936, a Soviet republic.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Maximum stay in Kazakhstan: 30 days Group discounts Kazakhstan visa for citizens of Canada is required for more information please contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy .
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This is a list of countries enjoying the simplified procedure: Australia, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, USA, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Israel, Croatia, Oman, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (this list was last updated in July 2009).^ China 14.3%, Russia 12.2%, Germany 10.8%, Italy 7.1%, Romania 6.7%, France 5.9%, Turkey 4.1% (2008) .
  • CIA - The World Factbook -- Kazakhstan 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.cia.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In addition Kazakhstan has signed intergovernmental agreements on nuclear energy cooperation with the USA and Euratom, and is seeking a fuel supply agreement with South Korea.
  • Uranium in Kazakhstan | Nuclear Power in Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.world-nuclear.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Ukraine do not need visas to enter Kazakhstan.^ Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan established the Eurasian Economic Community in 2000 to re-energize earlier efforts at harmonizing trade tariffs and the creation of a free trade zone under a customs union.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Then you will need to take this invitation along with the application form and two passport size photos and an original of your passport to the Kazakhstan Consulate in order to have your visa processed .
  • Kazakhstan Visa Online. Tourist, Business, Multiple-Entry Travel Visa Support Services - Kazakhstan Visa Requirements, Embassy & Consulate Forms. Visas to all CIS Countries. 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.visatorussia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have already dealt with attacks from rebel groups in Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan has significantly increased its military presence on its borders with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.For more information you should contact a Kazakhstan diplomatic mission in your area or Kazakhstan MFA's website Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.^ All children adopted in Kazakhstan after May 2003 must obtain exit stamps from both the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs before departing.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It is common in Kazakhstan to have dinner with business contacts, but usually only after establishing business contacts in a more formal setting.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Click on the links below to visit ministry websites for further information.
  • Joshua Project - Ethnic People Groups of Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.joshuaproject.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

By plane

.Air Kazakhstan stopped flying at the end of March 2004. The most important carrier is now Air Astana[1] which flies to Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Uralsk, Dubai, Moscow, Delhi, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Hannover, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Seoul.^ For people in the United Kingdom dealing with Kazakhstan, this development means that the time difference between Astana and London will be 6 hours except when the UK switches to daylight saving time when it will be 5 hours.
  • →    Kazakhstan current time 28 January 2010 0:13 UTC www.timegenie.com [Source type: News]

^ U.S.-KAZAKHSTAN RELATIONS The United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan, on December 25, 1991, and opened its Embassy in Almaty in January 1992; the Embassy moved to Astana in 2006.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Grain (Kazakhstan is the seventh-largest producer of wheat in the world) and livestock are the most important agricultural commodities.
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Lufthansa has also seven days flights to Almaty, from where you can go anywhere via local carrier SKAT, which flies to most cities in Kazakhstan.^ Two senators are selected by each of the elected assemblies (Maslikhats) of Kazakhstan's 16 principal administrative divisions (14 regions, or oblasts, plus the cities of Astana and Almaty).
  • Kazakhstan (04/09) 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ To call Kazakhstan, you have to dial: + 7 + City Area Code + Number you wish to call.
  • Kazakhstan Country Code & Kazakhstan Area Codes 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.countrycodes.com [Source type: Reference]

British Airways (Almaty-Heathrow route taken over by bmi from Sept 2007) and KLM now fly several times a week to Heathrow and Schiphol. There is also non-stop connection twice a week from Prague, operated by Czech airlines. Turkish Airlines is good passenger carrier, with flights to Istanbul (ask a travel agent about the student fares, which can be a great deal). .There are twice a week flights from Seoul to Almaty; one is Asiana Airlines, and the other is Astana.^ The system is a strong presidential one, with the president having the power to dissolve the parliament if his prime minister is rejected twice or if there is a vote of no confidence.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Airbaltic also flies to Almaty; if you reserve tickets in advance, you can go there for €130 (from Riga).

By train

Popular routes include Almaty to/from Moscow (77 hours), Novosibirsk (35 hours) and Ürümqi, China.
The trains are a great way to meet people. .A lot has been written about the pitfalls of being included in a vodka drinking party on a train, but for the most part fellow travelers are friendly, and keen to find out about you ("why aren't you married?"^ Recent complaints by Russians in Kazakhstan have begun to resonate in Moscow, putting some strain on relations that are for the most part friendly.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

and, if you are, "why don't you have children?", and if you do, "why don't they have children?"!). Most travellers take food for the journey, as restaurant car provision is sporadic (and they expect you to share yours too!). .If you don't have enough to last the distance, the trains generally stop for 15-20 mins at each station and there are always people on the platform selling food and drink, at any time of day or night.^ There are many meals in rural Kazakhstan where everything people eat and drink is homemade and from the person's garden or livestock.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Tea is almost always consumed hot, as people in Kazakhstan think that drinking cold beverages will make one sick.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Kazakh men always shake hands with someone they know when they see each other for the first time in a day.
  • Culture of Kazakhstan - History and ethnic relations, Urbanism, architecture, and the use of space 11 September 2009 7:11 UTC www.everyculture.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

By car

.You can enter Kazakhstan by car through many of the border checkpoints on main roads into the country.^ Kazakhstan Neighboring Countries: China 0.3¢ » Kyrgyzstan 4.2¢ » Turkmenistan 6.4¢ » Uzbekistan 1.5¢ » Russia 1.1¢ Using this phone card to call Kazakhstan will save you money!
  • Kazakhstan Phone Cards | Kazakhstan Calling Cards - Cheap Kazakhstan Phone Card to Kazakhstan 16 September 2009 23:55 UTC www.phonecardsmile.com [Source type: News]

However, be prepared to wait up to 24 (twenty-four) hours in the queues, with rather poor facilities.

By bus

It is fairly easy to travel from Ürümqi to Almaty via sleeper bus, especially if you aren't in a hurry and don't mind living on a bus for a good 24 to 36 hours. .The border crossing itself is a bit of a hike, and you may be made to carry all of your belongings with you for quite a ways in some seriously warm weather.^ All PIN numbers emailed instantly so you can start calling immediately after we verify your credit card!

.The bus trip and "baggage fees" are around US$45. You can pick up your Kazakhstan visa at the embassy in Urumqi as well, but be prepared to chill for at least a week waiting, and be sure to get a copy of your passport before handing it over.^ A personal letter from the applicant addressed to the Embassy of Kazakhstan, explaining the purpose of the trip, dates of travel, cities to be visited, and place of accommodation.
  • Kazakhstan Visa : Application, Requirements. Apply for Kazakhstani Visas Online. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ You can start calling immediately after you receive your card from us.

^ Kazakhstan business visa fees for citizens of United States .
  • Kazakhstan Visa : Application, Requirements. Apply for Kazakhstani Visas Online. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

By boat

Freighters travel regularly between Baku and Aktau, and it is possible to hitch a ride. Note, though, that it is common for ships to get held up, even for weeks, before entering port, so you had better stock up on food and water before boarding. See freighter travel to better understand how this works.

Registration

.You must register your visa within five days of entering Kazakhstan if your border entry card has only one stamp.^ Suggestions about the structure and composition of the Government shall be submitted to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan by the Prime Minister of the Republic within ten days after his appointment.

^ The constitutional laws must be adopted within a year from the day of enactment of the Constitution.

^ Kazakhstan entry visa is not required for citizens of Canada.
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.After your first registration you must register in each destination if you stay more than 72 hours (see each destination for further details).^ Without the sanction of a procurator, a person may be detained for a period no more than seventy-two hours.

.If you stay in Kazakhstan less than five days then you may not need to register but this needs to be confirmed (28 July 2008).^ In the period between Parliament's sessions, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan may call an extraordinary joint session of the Chambers on his own initiative, at the suggestion of the chairpersons of the Chambers or no less than one-third from the total number of the deputies of Parliament.

^ The decision to bring an accusation and conduct its investigation may be adopted by the majority of the deputies of the Majilis at the initiative of no less than one-third of the total number of its deputies.

^ A deputy of the Majilis may be a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan who has reached twenty-five years of age.

.If you have a one-entry tourist visa for 30 days, no registration is needed.^ Maximum stay in Kazakhstan: 30 days Group discounts Kazakhstan visa for citizens of Canada is required for more information please contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy .
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Maximum stay in Kazakhstan: 30 days Group discounts Submit Kazakhstan tourist visa application Add Kazakhstan to Selection, and apply for more visas 1   Select the type of Kazakhstan business visa application: .
  • Kazakhstan Visa, Canada: Application for Kazakhstani Visa for Canadians. 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC kazakhstan.visahq.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

In Almaty airport, custom officials say that you don't need to register as long as you don't plan on staying more than 90 days (only for tourists), as of July 2008.

Get around

.You can travel within country using taxis, buses, trains and planes, it depends on your budget and demands.^ Kazakhstan Neighboring Countries: China 0.3¢ » Kyrgyzstan 4.2¢ » Turkmenistan 6.4¢ » Uzbekistan 1.5¢ » Russia 1.1¢ Using this phone card to call Kazakhstan will save you money!
  • Kazakhstan Phone Cards | Kazakhstan Calling Cards - Cheap Kazakhstan Phone Card to Kazakhstan 16 September 2009 23:55 UTC www.phonecardsmile.com [Source type: News]

Renting a car is rather costly compared to other means of transport.
In Semipalatinsk (Semey) a minivan costs 35 tenge, and a large bus costs 35-40 tenge (in Astana it ranges about 60-65 tenge), common taxi fare is minimally 300 tenge (at the time, March of 2009, USD 1 was approximately 150 tenge).

By public buses

Public transportation in big cities is rather popular. You can use buses, trolleys, trams and minibuses. One big minus of all of them is that they never come on schedule and very crowded on peak time. Moreover, there is absolutely no plan with bus stops and schedule whatsoever. If you don't speak Russian, taking the bus will be quite tricky but not impossible.

By taxi

Use taxis as they are very cheap (€2 to €6 within city). You don't have to use official taxis in most cities, basically you can stop almost any car on the street by raising your hand. It works good in Almaty & Astana, but in Karaganda the best way is one of taxis by phone. It some cheaper and even faster than hitch-hike waiting.
A note of warning, getting to the Almaty airport can be expensive, a taxi to the Airport can cost USD 50. Taxis to the airport vary greatly in price. Any foreigner will be quoted a fantastic rate but usually cabs will come down once they see they aren't going to be able to get that much. USD50 is outlandish. Do not accept the first price as it will result in your being overcharged. It should be less than USD10, although it can never be guaranteed that a foreigner will get that price. A better option are the minibuses and buses that go to the airport. The word "airport" is very similar in Russian and English.
A common way to get around is by unofficial taxis. Any time of day, just wave your hand and someone will stop. Locals do this all the time. Negotiate the price and destination before you agree to go. About $2-$4 is fair for a ride within the center of Almaty. .If your russian is poor or nonexistent, you will be charged a lot more than locals; to avoid this, try to use public buses as much as you can and don't hesitate to tell the driver how much you are ready to pay (do this before he tells you how much he wants!^ We uploaded more than 100 photos on national Parks on our Album Share yours too!
  • BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, CHECKLIST OF THE BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, ITS COMPLETE BIRDLIST 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.birdlist.org [Source type: General]

^ In state institutions and local self-administrative bodies the Russian language shall be officially used on equal grounds along with the Kazak language.

^ However, the Government may not use this right more than twice a year.

). .To be safe though, do not get in a car if more than one person is driving.^ Without the sanction of a procurator, a person may be detained for a period no more than seventy-two hours.

^ One and the same person may not be elected the President of the Republic more than two times in a row.

Also, do not take these kind of taxis for long distances or anywhere that goes through remote areas, as there are frequent robberies, especially of foreigners.

By train

Train is the most popular way of covering the huge distances between Kazakhstan's main cities. Main train stations are located in Astana, Karaganda and Almaty, but they can be found almost in every big city.
You will have to buy a ticket in advance (sometimes even one day before departure) and a seat/bed number will be given to you. Ticket offices can be found in other locations than the really busy (and extremely slow, I mean it!) ticket offices found in the train stations. Also don't forget that you will need your passport to buy a train ticket.
Most long distances trains leave in the evening and provide beds with clean sheets for the journey ahead.

By long distance buses

They are a popular alternatives to trains and are faster but less comfortable than them. .As for trains, you will need to buy your ticket in advance and will be given a seat number.^ You need to upgrade your Flash Player .
  • Joshua Project - Ethnic People Groups of Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.joshuaproject.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Be careful when the bus makes a bathroom stop, the driver don't check if all passengers are on board before resuming driving!
Fares are relatively low, for instance a single from Almaty to Karaganda (14 hours) will cost you 2500T, much cheaper than an flight ticket.

By plane

.Air Astana provides offices in a few major hotels in big cities; it's the fastest way of travelling within the city for those who can afford it.^ Akims of the oblasts, major cities and the capital shall be appointed to office by the President of the Republic on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

^ All former Presidents of the Republic except those who were discharged from office shall have the title of ex-President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

^ The powers of akims of the oblasts, the major cities and the capital shall terminate when a newly elected President assumes office.

Planes are brand new and match european standards in quality.

Other

A fun and cheap way to get around is by taking a "marshrutka". These are the dilapidated vans that cruise around town. They usually have a sign (in Russian) listing the destination, and the driver will usually call out where they are going. But you will not find them in Almaty.

Talk

To many foreigners, the Kazakh language has been seen as very difficult to understand and to pronounce; however, it has been contrasted as easier than some other regional languages like Kyrgyz. Actually, travellers proficient in Turkish might be able to get by because Kazakh is of the same Turkic language family.
If you speak and/or understand the Russian language, then you should be fine. Still, Russian is considered to be tougher to learn (grammatically speaking). At the very least, become familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet and learn a few phrases.
Note that despite the president's campaign to stamp out the Russian language, Almaty and much of the North are still predominantly Russian speaking.
Many people under age 20 will know some English as well as many customs officials and airport people know English.
It is difficult to get around the country without some Russian or Kazakh language skills; though, within the more modernized cities, it is easier. Have your place of residence written on a card and get a cab if you get lost (you might be somewhat overcharged by the cab, but it is better than being lost).

Buy

The national currency is Tenge (KZT, Cyrillic: тенге). As of December, 2009, the exchange rates are:
  • US$ 1 = KZT 148.5
  • € 1 = KZT 213.5
Even for people who are not big shoppers, the beautifully crafted felt items will appeal. They are also easy to carry, and inexpensive to post.

Eat

Meat, potatoes, rice and pasta. And lots of it. If you're vegetarian be wary, because if it doesn't have meat in it, it was almost certainly cooked on meat stock.
Some recommend dishes:
  • Laghman - a thick noodle dish, usually served as a soup
  • Manty - large steamed dumplings full of meat and onions
  • Plov - wonderful dish of fried rice, meat, carrots, and sometimes other bits such as raisins or tomatoes
  • Besh parmak - wide, flat noodles, with boiled mutton on top - the traditional meal of Kazakhs
  • Shashlyk - skewered, roasted chunks of meat, served with some sort of flatbread (usually lavash) and onions
If you're a vegetarian, you're probably thinking there's nothing for you in Kazakstan. And you're right - so long as you eat out. But if you're cooking your own food, you'll be more than satisfied. Kazakstan has some excellent produce available at little markets everywhere. For a treat in Almaty, try Govinda's, a delicious vegetarian Hare Krishna restaurant. Malls have food courts with some vegetarian options too. Even some small Kazakh eateries will prepare vegetarian meals for you if you make it very clear to them (e.g. "byez myasa" (without meat), "ya vegeterianetz" (I [male] am a vegetarian), "ya vegetarianka" (I [female] am a vegetarian) in Russian). At some places (e.g. smak) you can even find vegetarian manty made with pumpkin.
The legacy of Korean resettlement in Kazakhstan means that Korean dishes, particularly salads, are very common. At the country's many bazaars (independent food and goods markets), look for the Korean ladies selling these. They will wrap you up any number of delicious, often spicy and garlicky salads to take away in plastic bags. If you are vegetarian, this may be the only decent thing you get to eat while you're in the country.
.On the other hand, in Kazakhstan you can find any dishes you want, but Chinese and Japanese dishes are very expensive.^ In Nature of Kazakhstan you can find nature related websites, like on birding , birdwatching , general ornithology , nature , nature conservation , national parks , protected areas , nature reserves , etc.
  • BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, CHECKLIST OF THE BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, ITS COMPLETE BIRDLIST 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.birdlist.org [Source type: General]

^ In Mammals of Kazakhstan you can find the list of the mammals of Kazakhstan in taxonomic order.
  • BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, CHECKLIST OF THE BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, ITS COMPLETE BIRDLIST 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.birdlist.org [Source type: General]

^ National parks, Nature reserves and Protected areas of Kazakhstan provides you with list of all the national parks and other protected areas of Kazakhstan .
  • BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, CHECKLIST OF THE BIRDS OF KAZAKHSTAN, ITS COMPLETE BIRDLIST 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.birdlist.org [Source type: General]

The most delicious is caviar, which is very cheap, you can buy 1 kilo of caviar for less than USD300 in Almaty Zyeloniy Bazaar, but you can't export or take it with you home, you will be stopped at airport and pay high fines.
Eating out is relatively cheap; you basically order the meat dish and then add rice, potatoes, etc. Each element is priced individually, so you can order for instance only meat or only rice. Prices are relatively cheap, count 300T for chicken and up to 600T for beef. Of course, the fancier the restaurant, the higher the price. If you don't speak Russian, things are relatively hard as the majority of restaurants don't have English menus (with the exception of some hyped places in Alamty).

Drink

You can find any sort of drink you want, some of the traditional beverages include:
  • Kumiss - fermented mare's milk.
  • Kumyran (Shubat)- fermented camel's milk
  • Kvas - described as similar to root beer it can be bought in a bottle in a store, or by the cup from people with giant yellowish tanks of it on the street
Cheap alcoholic drinks can be found at every little corner shop (called the astanovka). These places are open 24/7, just knock on their door if the shopkeeper is asleep. Kazakhstan's specialty is cognac, though stores still sell vodka cheaper than bottled water at times. However, some of these astanovka sometimes sell alcohol of dubious origin; for the sake of your stomach you may want to buy your beverage in a supermarket, although the price will definitely be higher.
The juices, in cartons, are delicious, especially peach juice.

Sleep

There are numerous hotels, from very cheap ones (10 euro per night) to the luxurious ones. You wouldn't find the cheapest ones on the web; the only way to book them is to call directly, but in that case you'll have to speak Russian at the least.
There are almost no camping sites except in Burabay/Borovoe in Kazakhstan. You can, however, camp almost anywhere due to the huge uninhabited spots. The scenery is beautiful but because of the very hot weather: don't forget to take plenty of water with you as you can very easily spend many of days without seeing anybody. If you camp near a nomadic tribe, ask for the permission to stay near; it will not be refused.

Work

Work is not impossible to find. English teaching schools are sprouting up all over. The English department at KIMEP might be a good place to start, depending on credentials and experience.

Stay safe

The general rules of safety in Kazakhstan are the same as in any other civilized country of the world. Besides the normal risk of pick-pockets, etc. The main risk is meeting a group of corrupt police; try to avoid being taken to the police station. However, in general, Kazakhstan is a very friendly country where foreigners are respected as the hospitality is one of the Kazakh main traditions. It is good to have a passport and migration card or copy of them in pocket, cause the policeman may to want to check it in any time, especially at night.
Fire brigade: dial 101 (land line and any mobile phones) Police: dial 102 (land line and any mobile phones) Ambulance: dial 103 (land line and any mobile phones)
Rescue service: dial 112 (any land or mobile phone) you may call 112, describe problem and call willbe redirected to according service but you have to know Russian or Kazakh in most cases for conversation with dispatcher. all calls are recorded.

Cope

Avicenna: the best private hospital in Kazakhstan is in the city of Kokshetau. It has the best service and real professionals. If you get sick and you are near Kokshetau, visit Avicenna.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA: /ˈkæzəkstæn/, /ˈkɑːzəkstɑːn/, SAMPA: /"k{z@kst{n/, /"kA:z@kstA:n/
  • (US) IPA: /ˈkɑzəkˌstæn/, SAMPA: /"kAz@k%st{n/
  • Rhymes: -æn

Proper noun

Singular
Kazakhstan
Plural
-
Kazakhstan
.
  1. A country in Central Asia.^ Nov 2007 - NATO Backgrounder : Partners in Central Asia ( .PDF/1201Kb ) Science for Peace and Security (SPS) - Country reports Eng.
    • NATO Topics: NATO’s relations with Kazakhstan 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.nato.int [Source type: Reference]

    ^ Country code: kz Region: South-central Asia Native characterset Back to main overview Back to Country Index Kazakhstan - Kyzylordinskaya .
    • GeoHive - Kazakhstan statistics 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC www.xist.org [Source type: Academic]

    ^ Kazakhstan (Officially Қазақстан Республикасы — the Republic of Kazakhstan ) is a country in Central Asia and Europe .
    • Kazakhstan - encyclopedia article - Citizendium 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC reid.citizendium.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    Official name: Republic of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Respublikasy).

Related terms

Translations

.The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers.^ The measures, which need Nazarbayev's signature to take effect, would remove any limit on the number of terms he can serve.
  • Articles about Kazakhstan - Los Angeles Times 9 February 2010 14:36 UTC articles.latimes.com [Source type: News]

Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also


Swedish

Proper noun

Kazakhstan
  1. Kazakhstan

Simple English

Қазақстан Республикасы

Республика Казахстан
Republic of Kazakhstan

Official flag
National information
National anthem: My Kazakhstan
About the people
Official languages: Kazakh, Russian
Population: (# of people)
  - Total: 15,217,711 (ranked 62)
  - Density: 5.4/km² per km²
Geography / Places
[[Image:|250px|none|country map]] Here is the country on a map.
Capital city: Astana
Largest city: Almaty
Area
  - Total: 2,724,900 km² (ranked 9)
  - Water:n/a km² (1.7%%)
Politics / Government
Established: 25 December (1991 (jobs))
Leaders: President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Prime Minister Karim Masimov
Economy / Money
Currency:
(Name of money)
Tenge (KZT), pepsi max can
International information
Time zone: +5/+6
Telephone dialing code: 7
Internet domain: .kz

Kazakhstan is a country in the middle of Eurasia. Its official name is the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in the world. Before the end of the Soviet Union, it was called "Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic". The president of the country since 1991 is called Nursultan Nazarbayev. Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan. Almaty was the capital before 1998.

Russia leases (rents) the land for the Baykonur Cosmodrome (site of Russian spacecraft launches) from Kazakhstan.

Contents

Geography

Kazakhstan is not landlocked, but borders the Caspian Sea, which boats can use to get to the Atlantic Ocean by sailing through the Mediterranean Sea.

Location

Russia has the longest border with Kazakhstan. Other countries next to Kazakhstan are China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

Pop culture

A film parodying the Republic of Kazakhstan called Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was made by Sacha Baron Cohen. He played a fictional Kazakh journalist named Borat Sagdiyev, although Baron Cohen is actually from the United Kingdom. The journalist was supposed to be making a movie depicting Kazakhs. The film showed Kazakhs as primitive prostitutes and rapists. The film made £27,000,000 (27 million pounds). The economy was bad when the movie came out.[1]

Other websites

  1. "Borat film 'tricked' poor village actors" Daily Mail, July 26, 2007.

Official Website of Kazakh Parliament, in Қазақша, Русский, and English


The Kazakhstan's president is Noursoultan Nazarbaev elected in 1991, it's the first president of the country. There're 16 million people. Kazakhstan is vast, five times as big as France. There's a continental climate. The first language is the Kazakh but there are a lot of other languages like Russian, German, Ukrainien, Korean... The money of this country is the tengue.

The men shake hands to greet, but the women, among themselves greet orally. Don't whistle in the house, because demons will empty your pocket. Don't greet on the threshold. When you go in the house, when the people are eating you have to accept their hospitaly, taking a meal with them. The first gesture when we go in a house is to suggest a cup of tea.krc:Къазакъстанkoi:Казахстан



Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 14, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Kazakhstan, which are similar to those in the above article.








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