OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Uzbekistan
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 447,400 Sq Km (172,700 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 24,998,400
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY: Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia
and is a former republic of the USSR. It is bound by Kazakhstan
to the northwest, north and northeast, Kyrgyzstan to the
east, Tajikistan to the southeast, Afghanistan to the south
and Turkmenistan to the south and west. The country can
be divided into four topographical regions. (1.) The Ustyurt
Plateau as well as the delta and alluvial plain of the lower
Amu-Darya River in the northwest. (2.) The Kyzyl Kum Desert
which cuts across the northern region of the country east
of the Aral Sea. (3.) The foothills of the Pamir-Alai Mountain
Systems in the southeast and the Tien Shan Range to the
east of the capital. (4.) The fertile oasis valley of Fergana
between the Alai and Tien Shan Ranges. The principal rivers
are the Amu-Darya, Syr-Darya and Zeravshan. Major Cities
(pop. est.); Tashkent 2,120,000, Samarkand 372,000, Namangan
333,000, Andizhan 302,000, Bukhara 235,000 (1992). Land
Use; forested 3%, pastures 47%, agricultural-cultivated
10%, other 40% (1993).
CLIMATE: Uzbekistan has a hot and dry climate with long hot,
dry summers and short cold winters. Average annual precipitation varies
from 100 mm (4 inches) in the desert areas to 330 mm (13 inches) in the
Piedmont regions. Average temperature ranges in Tashkent are from -.3 degrees
Celsius (31.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 27 degrees Celsius (81
degrees Fahrenheit) in July.
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Uzbeks who account
for 71% of the population while 8% are Russians, 5% are Tajiks, 4% are
Kazakhs and 3% are Tartars. Other ethnic minorities include Ukrainians,
Armenians, Azerbaiji, Turkmen, Kyrgyzstani, Jews and Germans.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 47 persons per sq km (123
persons per sq mi) (1993). Urban-Rural; 40.0% urban, 60.0% rural (1992).
Sex Distribution; 49.4% male, 50.6% female (1992). Life Expectancy at Birth;
66.2 years male, 72.6 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 41% under 15,
28% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 2% 75 and over (1989).
Birth Rate; 34.5 per 1,000 (1991). Death Rate; 6.2 per 1,000 (1991). Increase
Rate; 28.3 per 1,000 (1991). Infant Mortality Rate; 35.5 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Sunni Muslims.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Uzbek, although Russian is
also widely spoken and each ethnic minority also has its own language.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: primary or no
formal schooling 13.3%, incomplete secondary 19.8%, secondary and incomplete
post secondary 57.7%, higher 9.2% (1989). Literacy; N/A.
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On Aug. 31, 1991 Uzbekistan declared
its independence, although prior to independence its history was closely
tied with that of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In Mar. 1953 Yosef Stalin died and was succeeded by Georgy Malenkov who
was in turn forced to relinquish the party leadership to Nikita Khrushchev
after a little over one week in power. In 1955 the Warsaw pact militarily
aligned the Soviet Union with other communist countries and in Nov. 1956
the Soviet Red Army invaded Hungary to quell uprisings. In 1957 three communist
ministers unsuccessfully attempted to depose Khrushchev which resulted
in their expulsion from the central committee. In 1962 under Khrushchev's
rule the USSR was involved in the Cuban Missile crisis and in the same
year relations with China were broken off as a result of ideological differences.
In Oct. 1964 Khrushchev was forced to retire and was succeeded by Leonid
Brezhnev. In Aug. 1968 the Warsaw Pact forces led by the Red Army invaded
Czechoslovakia to halt their Prague Spring reforms. In 1977 Breshnev was
elected President. In Nov. 1982 Brezhnev died and was succeeded by Yuri
Andropov, the former head of the KGB. Andropov introduced limited economic
reforms and established an anti-corruption program. In Feb 1984 Andropov
died and was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko who in turn died on Mar.
10, 1985. On Mar. 11, 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as Chernenko's
successor and Gorbachev embarked on a program which restructured the USSR's
relations with the West. Gorbachev also established Glasnost (openness)
as well as Perestroika (restructuring and reform). In Apr. 1986 a meltdown
in the reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine sent radioactive
fallout across northern Europe. In Dec. 1987 the USSR and USA signed the
Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF). In Feb. 1988 a dispute erupted
between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh which
resulted in mass demonstrations and strikes in the two republics. In Dec.
1988 an earthquake in Armenia killed some 50,000 people. In Apr. 1989 troops
violently repressed demonstrations in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
In Dec. 1989 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted multiparty politics. In
Jan. 1990 Gorbachev visited Lithuania and was met by some 250,000 pro-independence
demonstrators. In Feb. 1990 some 18 people were killed in riots over housing
discrimination in Tajikistan. In May 1990 Boris Yeltsin was elected President
of the Russian Federation and on Nov. 1, 1990 launched a 500 day plan to
give the Russian Republic a free market economy. In June 1990 Nakhichevan
an Azerbaijani enclave bordering Iran declared its intention for a unification
with Iran while a civil war was escalating between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In the same month around 150 people were killed during ethnic clashes in
Kyrgyzstan. In Jan 1991 another 15 people were killed as the Red Army seized
a television station in Lithuania while in Latvia the Soviet Black Berets
killed 5 people in an attack on the ministry building. In the same month
troops were being deployed in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. In
Mar. 1991 pro-Yeltsin demonstrators held a mass rally. On Aug. 18, 1991
as Gorbachev was vacationing in the Crimea, the Politburo hard liners attempted
a coup to remove Gorbachev from power through the declaration of a State
of Emergency under the control of a State Committee. Almost immediately
republic leaders declared the emergency committee illegal as well as unconstitutional
and began to barricade their parliaments as troops and tanks were deployed
throughout the republics. By Aug. 20 senior officers had refused to order
their troops to use force against the civilians and on Aug. 21, 1991 the
coup collapsed as troops were ordered to return to their barracks. Immediately
following the unsuccessful coup many republics suspended or purged the
communist party and on Sept. 5, 1991 after 3 days of debate the 74 years
of centralized communist control came to an end. On Dec. 29, 1991 presidential
elections were won by Islam Karimov, the former first secretary of the
Communist Party now known as the People's Democratic Party. In Jan. 1992
Uzbekistan became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS) and on Jan. 8, 1992 Abdulkhashim Mutalov was inaugurated as
Prime Minister. The three opposition parties, Erk Democratic Party, Birlik
Peoples' Movement and the Party of Islamic Rebirth (PIR) aligned themselves.
All three parties advocated a secular political state with Islam occupying
a central public position and opposed the government's economic reform
program favoring a rapid transition to a market economy. In May 1992 following
mass demonstration in neighboring Tajikistan, the Birlik, Erk and PIR attempted
to form a coalition government that led Pres. Karimov to close Birlik's
headquarters and arrest its leaders. Following which the Supreme Soviet
amended the criminal laws to increase anti-government activity penalties,
to increase the powers of security forces and allow for the registration
of political parties. Also in 1992 Pres. Karimov attended the Conference
on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Finland, visited Beijing
to establish diplomatic relations with China and also received US Secretary
of State, James Baker. In 1993 the government continued with its' crackdown
on opposition parties starting with the main opposition party, the Birlik
Movement, banning their activities for the first quarter of the year. On
Oct. 12, 1993 the government passed a law that reinstated the Latin alphabet
for the Uzbek language. Also in 1993 a number of opposition members were
granted amnesty following their conviction, although six members were sentenced
to 10-15 years following their conviction of attempting to establish an
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Sum (plural; Sumy).
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $21,030,000,000 (1993).
Public Debt; USD $123,000,000 (1992). Imports; R 191,885,000,000 (1992).
Exports; R 150,635,000,000 (1992). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade;
R -4,100,000,000 (1992). Economically Active Population; 8,242,800 or 39.0%
of total population (1992). Unemployed; 1.1% (1992).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partner is the CIS.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Coal, Copper, Cotton, Fruit, Gold, Grapes,
Iron Ore, Lead, Livestock, Maize, Melons, Molybdenum, Natural Gas, Oil,
Rice, Silkworms, Silver, Sulfur, Tungsten, Vegetables, Wheat.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Machinery,
Mining, Oil Refining, Silk, Steel Milling, Textiles.
MAIN EXPORTS: Chemicals, Clothing, Fertilizers, Leather, Minerals,
Natural Gas, Ores, Petroleum and Petroleum Products.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 6,800 km (4,225 mi) (1991),
passenger-km 5,200,000,000 (3,231,000,000 passenger-mi) (1991), cargo ton-km
70,600,000,000 (48,354,000,000 passenger-mi) (1991). Roads; length 89,207
km (55,431 mi) (1990). Vehicles; cars 790,800 (1988). Merchant Marine;
N/A. Air Transport; passenger-km 10,500,000,000 (6,524,000,000 passenger-mi)
(1991), cargo ton-km 88,700,000,000 (60,751,000,000 short ton-mi) (1991).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 12 with a total circulation
of 452,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 3,677,000 (1991). Television; receivers
3,308,000 (1991). Telephones; units 1,458,000 (1991).
MILITARY: 25,000 (1995) total active duty personnel with 84.0%
army, 0.0% navy and 16.0% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 0.2% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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