Kyrgyzstan (/ˌkɜːrɡɪˈstɑːn/ kur-gih-STAHN; Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан Kyrgyzstan
(Kyrgyz pronunciation: [qɯrʁɯsˈstɑn]); Russian: Киргизия or Кыргызстан), officially the Kyrgyz
Republic (Kyrgyz: Кыргыз Республикасы, translit. Qırğız Respublikası; Russian: Кыргызская Республика,
tr. Kyrgyzskaya Respublika; Uzbek: Қирғиз Республикаси, translit. Qirg'iz Respublikasi), and also
known as Kirghizia (Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан, translit. Qırğızstan [qɯrʁɯsˈstɑn]; Russian: Киргизия, tr.
Kirgiziya [kʲɪrˈɡʲizʲɪjə]), is a sovereign state in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked
country with mountainous terrain. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west
and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is
Kyrgyzstan's recorded history spans over 2,000 years, encompassing a variety of cultures and empires.
Although geographically isolated by its highly mountainous terrain, which has helped preserve its ancient
culture, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road
and other commercial and cultural routes. Though long inhabited by a succession of independent tribes and
clans, Kyrgyzstan has periodically fallen under foreign domination and attained sovereignty as a
nation-state only after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Since independence, Kyrgyzstan has officially been a unitary parliamentary republic, although it
continues to endure ethnic conflicts, revolts, economic troubles, transitional governments and political
conflict. Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union,
the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation, the Turkic Council, the Türksoy community and the United Nations.
Ethnic Kyrgyz make up the majority of the country's 6 million people, followed by significant minorities
of Uzbeks and Russians. Kyrgyz is closely related to other Turkic languages, although Russian remains
widely spoken and is an official language, a legacy of a century of Russification. The majority of the
population are non-denominational Muslims. In addition to its Turkic origins, Kyrgyz culture bears
elements of Persian, Mongolian, and Russian influence.