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Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

Area: 447 400 km2
Population: 28 268 440 (2008)
Density: 60/km2 
Ethnic groups: 80% Uzbeks, 5.5% Russians, 5% Tajiks, 5% Kazakhs, 2% Karakalpaks, 1.5% Tatars.
Administrative division: 12 regions, 1 autonomous republic (Karakalpakstan)
Capital: Tashkent 2,7 million inhabitants (2007)
Language: Uzbek (official), Russian (interethnic)
Religion: Islam
Time zone: GMT + 5
Calling code: +998
Currency: UZS Uzbekistan som

Uzbekistan is an ancient cradle of the Eastern civilization.

Uzbekistan
The world's most ancient cities - trade centres of the Great Silk Road and the luxurious capitals of the grandiose Central Asian empire - are preserved in the country. Uzbekistan has massive mountain ranges and picturesque valleys, extremely hot deserts and green oasis. The land had seen fierce battles and wars between giant armies brought here in search of profits by the kings - Cyrus, Darius, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Tamurlane had founded his empire here. In between the destructive wars, the rulers found time for sponsoring and developing science, culture and arts. Thus, they had laid a foundation for a generation of scientists and culture figures in Central Asia.
Today Uzbekistan is a large industrial region with the developed infrastructure. Now Uzbekistan is the third largest exporter of cotton as well as one of the largest gold and natural gas producers in the world. Furthermore, Uzbekistan has developed its chemical industry. Its mechanical engineering sector is also has well-developed.

Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country that declared its independence.

Geography  
The Republic of Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia. The country's northwest is located in the Turan lowlands. The mountainous system of Tian-Shan and Pamir lay across the country's southeast and the Kyzylkum desert in on its north. Uzbekistan borders on Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Climate                    
Uzbekistan's climate is sub-continental. Its winter is not that cold, average temperature is from - 10 to +3 Celsius. Its summer is hot and dry, average temperature is from +30 to +40 С. Its autumn is dry and warm with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Its spring is rainy.

Nature in Uzbekistan
Nature
The nature in Uzbekistan is various. It has endless and extremely hot deserts as well as green oasis and great chains of mountain ranges. Uzbekistan's north-western part is located within the Turan lowlands, the major part of which is a desert. The delta of the River Amu Darya has massive swamps, and towards the east there are several hills (Beltau, Bukantau, Zhetimtay, Kazakhtau and others) and cavities (Mymbulak, Molaly, Karakata and others), which are covered by sand Taskudyk, Kyzylkum, Yamnkum, Kimirekkum and others. The south-western part of the Aral Sea lies in the Ustyurt plateau, on its south there are massive swamp areas Barsakelmes and the northern shores of the Lake Sarykamysh, as well Karabuar ridges and Assake-Audan cavity. The lowest part of Uzbekistan is Sarykarnysh Kuli in the Mymbulak cavity (-12 m lower of the sea level).
In the central part of the country, between borders of Turkmenistan and the Lake Aydarkul, there is a row of plain lands, crossed by the rivers Zerafshan and Karadarya, as well a great number of irrigation channels. There are boundless cotton fields and large desert areas, which are subjected to a strong salinization process. A little towards the east, between Karadarya and the Lake Aydarkul, there are not high ranges of Nuratau and Aktau.
Because of its geographical location, it is natural that the country is in a seismic zone, especially in mountainous areas. It often that quakes of 3-5 points on the Richter scale take place here (in the 20th century, there were about 20 earthquakes up to nine points in the Richter scale).

Mountains
The southern parts of the country, bordering on Afghanistan, are full of high mountains. There are mid-height ranges Karzhantau, Ugam, Pskent, Chatkal, Kurama, Babatag, Gissar, Chimgan, Zerafshan and Turkistan in southernmost Uzbekistan. Many of them continue in the territories of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In the north-west and south - foothills and spurs of Tian-Shan and Gissar-Alay. The highest point of the region and of the entire country - the peak Adelunga-Togi (4643 m), located in the southern part of the Gissar range.

Rivers
The largest rivers of Central Asia - Amu Darya and Syr Darya - are flowing through the Uzbek territory. Moreover, Surkhandarya, Sherabad, Kashkadarya, Zerafshan, Chirchik, Naryn, Karadarya, Sokh and other rivers lay through Uzbekistan. The all rivers start from mountains. Therefore, they are fed by snow and rain. While flowing through plain lands, the majority of them are subject to lose their waters as they are taken for irrigation. Therefore, the majority of the rivers in the lower ranges are not that full compared to the ones on the foothills, and small ones simply disappear in the sands. Due to the irrigation, the majority of lands subject to salination.

There are not many lakes in Uzbekistan. The largest one is the Aral Sea. However, due to a lack of a water flow and tectonic processes, it is disappearing quickly. The second largest on is Aydarkul, located in the north-eastern part of the country. However, there are many glacial lakes are in mountainous areas and many water reservoirs in plain lands.

Deserts
Deserts
Deserts are the most complicated region of Uzbekistan. The sun heats the soil to up to plus 60-70 degrees Celsius. The temperature in the shade is plus 50 degrees Celsius.

Kyzylkum is one of the greatest deserts in Eurasia. It stretches from the shore of Aral Sea in the north to comparatively narrow oasis strip by the River Zerafshan in the south. The vast territory is 300,000 square km from the east to west and is limited by the Central Asian rivers of Syr Darya and Amu Darya. Kyzyl-Kum occupies a bigger part of Navaiy Region.

The desert is not that lifeless. Flora and fauna in the desert are quite peculiar. The life here adapted to extreme summer temperature and to serious droughts. Grasses like selenium, ilak and sedge grow here. Among shrubs, there are Haloxylon, Kandim and saltwort. During the spring period, Kyzylkum is covered by a beautiful carpet of flourishing plants. Many land plots in the desert are used as pastures for sheep and camels.

Nature reserves
Uzbekistan has not only the famous ancient towns of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Termez with old architecture monuments but also for its unique natural landshaft (steppe, desert and mountains), various kinds of rare types of the flora and fauna. Uzbekistan has unique nature heritage with its archaeological finds, palaeontology remains, rare geological sections, which has over 8,000 natural monuments.

Nature reserves of Uzbekistan
Over 10 nature reserves and about 15 special zones and reserves have been created in Uzbekistan. The largest and interesting one is Chatkal mountain forest biosphere reserve, (356,8 sq.m), located in the western spurs of Chatkal range. However, other nature reserves of the country - Gissar (814.3 sq. km) and Zamin (268.4 sq.km) nature reserves in mountains planted with firs in Karakalpagistan's Baday-Tugay nature reserve (protects riparian forests 64.6 sq.km), Kyzylkum (101.4 sq.km) and Zarafshan (23.5 sq.km) valley and riparian forests reserves, Nurata mountain (177.5 sq.km), Surkhan mountain forests (2136.9 sq.km) and Kitab geology reserve (53.7 sq. km) as well as the national parks Zamin, Ugam-Chatkal and Bostanlyk - deserve special attention.


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