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GENERAL INFORMATION



The Republic of Kazakhstan is an independent state, situated in the central part of Euroasia.

It’s territory is 2727 thousand square kilometers. Population is about 15 million people. 53,4 % of Kazakhs, 30 % of Russians, 3,7 % of Ukranians, 2,5 % of Uzbeks, 2,4 % of Germans, 1,4% of Uighurs, 0,7% of Koreans, 5,9 % of other nationalities live in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh is the official language; Russian is the language of international communication.

The republic of Kazakhstan is a secular, democratic and unitary state.

The main trends of religions are Islam (suunie) and Christianity (orthodox, catholic and protestant). There are also supporters of the other world religious-Budddism and Judaism.

The capital is Astana.

The Head of State is President.

The highest legislative organ is Parliament consisting of the Senate and the Majilis.

The executive power belongs to the Government.

The currency is tenge.

& GEOGRAPHY AND NATURE

The territory of Kazakhstan stretches 3000 km from west to east and 1000 km from north to south. In the west and north Kazakhstan borders on Russian Federation, in the south – on Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Kirgiziya, in the east – on China. The total length of state borders is over 15000 km. It is the ninth biggest country in the world with the territory 2,7 million square km.

The reliefof the country varies very much. If you look at Kazakhstan from the space, you will see high ice-covered mountains, hills and highlands. Vast plains and lowlands stretch like green lines. The country spreads from Western-Siberian plain in the north to the Tian Shan Mountains in the south and from the Lower Volga in the west to the Altai in the east.

There is Precaspian lowland and the Mangistau peninsula in the west. The southern parts of the Urals and the Mugodzhar lie in the north-west. To the north-east of the Mugodzhar we can find the vast Turgai plateau, turning into the Turan Lowland with the Kyzylkum desert in the south.

The central part of the country is the Kazakh low hills (Saryarka), with not very big mountains. The southern chains of the Altai Mountains are in the east and southeast. The south is covered with the Betpak-Dala and Moiynkum deserts.

There are quite a lot of riversand lakesin Kazakhstan. The main rivers are the Irtysh, the Ural, the Chu, and the Syrdarya. The main lakes are Balkash, partly Aral and the Caspian Sea. There are few rivers in the deserts, mostly they can be found in the north and in the mountainous regions. All in all there is a great number of rivers in Kazakhstan but only 228 of them are more than 100 km long. There are also very many lakes, but most of them are situated in the flood-lands and deltas of the rivers. Only 21 lakes have area more than 100 square km. Beside mentioned above lakes there is Lake Zaisan, Tengiz, Kushmurun and others.

Climate.The country is situated far from the oceans. The climate is sharply continental and zonelike due to its vast territory. In the north winters are cold and long. As a result of arctic air frosts can reach 40-45° C below zero. There is little snow but there can be severe snowstorms.

The average winter temperature in the north is about -20° C. In the central parts winters are not so cold, but in the south they are mild and warm.

Summer is dry; in the south it is hot. In the mountains it is short. The summer temperature in the north is about + 20° C, in the central parts it is + 30° C. In the south it can reach + 45° C.

It is usually rains in the steppes in summer and in the deserts in spring. There is a lot of precipitation in the mountains. It is very windy in all parts of Kazakhstan.

One call find great variety of vegetationin Kazakhstan. The country can be divided into 3 zones: steppes, semi-desert and desert. The steppes of the North Kazakhstan are characterized by feather grass. In the north there are birch and pine forests, especially on the sands near the Irtysh river and the Tobol river. The semi-deserts are characterized by different types of wormwood, the deserts – by grass, subshrub and saxaul. The lakes are usually surrounded by reed. At the foothills bushes grow (dog-rose, honeysuckle, barberry). In the mountains of Zailisky Alatau we can find wild apple tree and hawtborn. In the centre there are coniferous forests.

Fauna.The wildlife of Kazakhstan is varied too. There are about 155 species of mammals. Most of them are rodents: gophers and hamsters in the steppes, sanderlings in the deserts, water rats near the water. Fieldvole, jerboa, hare can be found everywhere. There are a lot of hoofed animals: saiga, dzheiran in the deserts, maral, musk deer in the lowlands. In the mountains wild boar, roe can be met. There are predators in Kazakhstan: wolf, fox, and weasel. In the forests of Altai and Tian Shan brown bear, snow leopard, squirrel dwell.

There are 480 species of birds in Kazakhstan. Many of them are water-fowl: grey goose, wild duck. Lake Tengiz is famous for its flamingo; bittern and heron are in the reeds. Cormorant, pelican, crane are also here. Eagles search for their prey in the steppes, larks and little bustards fly.

There are 49 species of reptile and 11 species of amphibian. There are tortoises, lizards, and snakes in the plains.

In different reservoirs there can be found 150 species of fish, including valuable marketable fish: beluga, sturgeon, stellate sturgeon, pike-perch. There are a lot of of pike, perch, crucian in the lakes and rivers. The rivers in mountains have taimen and grayling.

Very many species of inverterbrates are the steppe and desert dwellers. Among them are so hated by people and poisonous spiders – karakurt and phalanx, scorpions and other inhabitants of the steppes and deserts.

& ECONOMIC-GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION





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