Kazakstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the 15 countries that where created when the U.S.S.R. divided in 1991. As of 1995 Kazakhstan had an estimated population of 17,377,000, Kazakhstan is 1,050,000 sq. miles and is located in central Asia. It borders Russia in the north, China in the east, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan in the south, and the Caspian Sea and European Russia in the west. Astana is the capital and Almaty is the largest city. The national religion is Muslim. The Kazakhstanian government is lead by an executive president, who is elected by popular vote.
Kazakhstan has several major land features. It consists mainly of flatland and desert, and has low or irregular rainfall; there is a high mountain belt in the southeast (2,100 miles long). It also is a region of drainage: The Syr Darya, the Ili, the Chu, and other rivers drain into the Aral Sea and Lake Balkash.
Although Kazakhstan is largely arid, its steppes work well to accommodate both livestock and grain production. Wheat, cotton, sugar beets, and tobacco are the main crops. The raising of cattle and sheep is also important, and Kazakhstan produces much wool and meat. In addition, there are rich fishing grounds, famous for their caviar-producing sturgeon in the Northern part of the Caspian Sea. All this works well for the country's economy. Other large natural resources that come out of Kazakhstan are: natural gas, iron ore, manganese, chrome, lead, zinc, silver, copper, nickel, titanium, bauxite, and gold. Also the Irtysh River hydroelectric stations are the country's main source of power.
Out of all the nations that came out of the U.S.S.R. Kazakhstan is one of the richest, both economically and naturally.
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