This week I’ve got guest blogger @JetSetStephen helping me out, with some interesting facts about Uzbekistan. Thanks Stephen!
Uzbekistan - officially the Republic of Uzbekistan - is a country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Prior to 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union.
In the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire began to expand and spread into Central Asia. By 1912, Russians living in Uzbekistan numbered 210,306.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, Central Asia was firmly in the hands of Russia and, despite some early resistance to Bolsheviks, Uzbekistan and the rest of Central Asia became a part of the Soviet Union. On October 27, 1924 the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. On August 31, 1991, Uzbekistan declared independence, marking September 1 as a national holiday.
The country is now the world’s third-largest exporter of cotton, and it is developing its mineral and petroleum reserves.
Uzbekistan is also a “doubly landlocked” country (a country surrounded only by other landlocked countries - a person in such a country has to cross at least two borders to reach a coastline); one of only two such countries in the world. The other is Liechtenstein in Central Europe, which is surrounded by Switzerland and Austria.
Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres and is the 56th largest country in the world by area, and the 42nd by population. Major cities include Andijan, Bukhara, Samarkand, Namangan and the capital Tashkent.