The Republic of Kazakhstan is in the central part of Europe and Asia to the south from the Urals. It borders on Russia, China, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenia. The territory of Kazahstan stretches from the Lower Volga to Altay in the east and from the West-Siberian plain in the north to the Tian-Shan in the south. In the south-west it is washed by the Caspian Sea. 

The territory is 2717,3 ths sq km. 

A relief of Kazakhstan is extraordinary various. Here there are high mountains covered with glaciers, hilly average sized mountains and plateaux. Wide plains and lowlands of the country occupy dry steppes in the south-east. In the east of the country there are foothills of the Altay, the Tarbagatay, the Djungurian Alatau and the Tian-Shan. The highest point- Peak Han-Tengry (6995m) - there is on the boundry of Kazakhstan and Kirghistan. There are about 7 th natural lakes on the territory of Kazahstan. General area of water surface of those lakes exceeds 45 ths sq km. The biggest lakes of Kazakhstan are the Aral Sea , the Balhash,the Zaysan, the Alakol and the Tengiz. 

In the north-west there are south outskirts of the General Sirt and the Ural Plateau. (Height up to 354 m). To the south of them there is extensive plane, the Caspian lowland. Absolute altitudes of this lowland are 28 m (water- level of Caspiy) - 50 m above sea level. The peninsula of Mangishlak is in the south-west of the republic. There is a range of Karatau (up to 556m ) in the centre of the lowland . In the south there are deep hollows, bottoms of which lie lower than the level of the World Ocean : Karagie-132m, Karinjarik - 70m, Kaundy-54m. To the east of Mangishlak there is a desert plateau of Ustjurt (up to 340m) surrounded by steep slopes- chincs. In its northern low part there are salines and sands (Sam, Asmantay-Matay, Karatuley). In the north-east of the Caspian lowland is surrounded by the south spurs of the Urals and Mugodjar (height to 657m). To the north-east of Mugodjar there is Turgay plateau (height 200-400m) 

In the south it changes into Turan lowland occupied by Kizilkum desert (height from 53 to 332 m) and so on. To the north of (from)the Aral sea there are sand places Bolshoy and Maliy Barsuky and Priaral Karakums. West-Sibirian plain comes into the territory of the Republic only by its southern outskirts. The central part is occupied by Kazakh melcosopochnik (Sariarka). Those are remains of ancient destroyed mountain country. On its territory there are separate mountain-masses of Kizilray (1565m), Karkaraly(1366m) Ulutau (1133m) and so on. 
In the south Kazakh melcosopochnik changes for one of the most waterless desert. It is Betpak-Dala (height 250-550m). To the south of it there is a great space occupied by sand Muyunkum (height up to 66 m). To the east of Betpak-Dala there is an extensive region of Semirechie (height 800m). This name means that seven rivers fall into the lake Balhash from the south. The biggest part of this region occupies Balhashian hollow with sand mass Sari-Ishikotrau. 

In the south-west it connects with Iliy hollow and in the east- Sasikol-Alakol hollow. The most of hollows are occupied by lakes. 

In the east and south-east there are the south chains of Altay (South Altay and Ore Altay ) with a height up to 4506m (mountain Beluha); also ranges of Saura (up to 3805m), Tarbagataia (2992m) ,Djungarskiy Alatau (4463m); ranges of northern and western Tian-Shan with Ketmen (3638m);Chu-Iliyckiy mountains (1520m); Zailiyskiy Alatau (4973m); a part of range Kungrey-Alatau (4213m) ; Kirghiskiy range (3817m), Talasskiy (4229m) and Karatay (2176m). 

A plain part occupies 90% of the territory of Kazakhstan. It includes masses of melcosopochnik and insular low mountains. Nature of this locality distinctly zones into woody steppes in the north and deserts in the south. 
Eastern-and-Europian plain which is on the territory of Kazakhstan, includes sirt hill near the Volga the east part of low ground near the Caspian Sea the plateau near the Urals. The zone of the Urals- Southern Urals, Mugodjars, Transural plateau; the zone of the west-Siberian plain- the south woody steppe and steppe. 

The zone of Turan low ground - desert regions of Mangishlak, Ustjurt, Turgay plateau, Priarals, Kizilkums, Betnakgala, Mujunkums, Balhash- Alakol hollow. 

In the centre of Kazakhstan there is Kazakh melcosopochnik. The south-east and east of Kazakhstan is occupied by the mountains and hollows among mountains of the western and southern Altay, Saura, Tarbagatay, Djungar Alatau, northern and western Tian-Shan and their spurs. 

In the limits of these mountains there are various types of landscapes for example from the south-siberian ones the north to steppe and desert ones in the south. 


Remoteness from oceans, extensiveness of territory and peculiarities of orography stipulate for sharp continental climate and climatic zones. Because of the southern position and not great cloudiness there is condiderable solar radiation. 

The length of solar radiance forms from 2000 hours in the north to 3000 hours in the south. Summery radiation is increased from the north to the south. It is increased from 100 kkal/sm2 to 140 kkal/sm2. Winter is cold and long in the north; it is moderate cold in the central part; it is on the whole shortly moderate soft in the south; it is soft in the extreme south. 

The average temperature of January drops to 18oC below zero in the north. It drops to 3oC below zero in the most southern part of Kazakhstanian plain. In winter, an account of penetration of cold masses of continental arctic air from the north and north- west, frosts reach 45oC below zero in the north and central districts, sometimes 35oC below zero in the south. Summer is dry and long on the plains. It is warm in the north, it is very warm in the central part one, it is not in the south. The average temperature in July rises up to +19oC in the north and to +28 +30oC in the south. 

Summer is short and moderate, winter is comparatively warm in the mountains. There is small precipitation almost everywhere. Annual precipitation is 300-400 mm in forest-and-steppe regions, annual precipitation drops to 250 mm in steppes, annual precipitation rises up to 300-400 mm in Kazakhstan melcosopochnic and it drops to 200-100 mm in a half-wilderness and desert. Especially little precipitation (less than 100 nn a year) is in near-Balhashie, in the south- west of near-aral-Karakums and in the south of Ustiurt. Annual precipitation is from 400 to 1600 mm in foothills and mountains. In the north and in the central regions precipitation is maximum in summer-time. Maximum precipitation is in early spring in the south. 

Almost all over the territory of Kazakhstan strong winds blow. In winter in the north the south-west winds blow and in the south-the north-east winds. In summer everywhere the nirth winds blow. The length of a vegetative period is 190-200 days in the north and 200 days in the south. 

State system

 Republican form of Government. A head of the State is a president. A head of the Government is a prime-minister. A legislative power belongs to the two-chamber parlament (Majilis and Senat) 

The official language is kazakh. 

The capital is Astana (before 1998 the capital was Alma-Ata)

Administrative and territorial divisions of Republic Kazakhstan

Names of regions

Administrative centres

Territory ths sq km

Population ths

Akmolinsk Akmolinsk 133,0 877,5
Aktjubinsk Aktjubinsk 300,6 724,3
Almata Almaty 224,0 2693,1
Atirausk Atirau 118,6 455,9
East-Kazahstan Ust-Kamenogorsk 283,3 1632,7
Jambilak Taraz 144,3 1002,4
West-Kazahstan Uralsk 151,3 647,6
Karagandinsk Karaganda 428,0 1536,7
Kostanainsk Kostanay 195,4 1119,6
Kizilordinsk Kizilorda 226,0 614,9
Mangistausk Aktau 165,6 346,4
Pavlodarsk Pavlodar 124,8 873,9
Nirth-Kazahstansk Petropavlovsk 123,2 1114,7
South-Kazahstansk Shimkent 117,3 2002,2

Population: About 16,8 m. On the whole the Kazakhes (42%), the Russians (37%), the Ukrainians (5%), the Germans (5%), the Tatars, the Uzbeks, the Byelorussians, the Uigurs and the other nationalities. 

Religion: Islam (sunnite) - about 47% , orthodox Christians - 44%, Protestants - 2% , representative of other religions - 7% 


Production of electroenergetics, extraction of coal, oil, natural gas; extraction of iron, copper, leand and zinc , nickel ores; extraction of bauxite and other useful minerals. 

Main branches of industry: ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy: chemical one, machinery construction, light industry, food-stuffs industry. Oil- refining (cracking ) industry and production of building materials are developed. 

Area of agricultural land is 197,6 m ha (in 1990). 

With mastering freshly - raised soil Kazakhstan became a main producer of grain. Acreage under crop is 35182 th ha (in 1990) including sereals - 66,4% (mainly wheat), fodder crops-31,4% and technical cultures (cotton, sunflower, flax- kudriash ). Fruit- growing , wine-growing, melon-growing. Area of all irrigated agricultural land is 2308 th ha (in 1990), mainly in the South Kazakhstan. 

Sheep-breeding (meat and wool); meat and milk cattle- breeding ; pigs , horses and camels are bred . 

The operation length of railway line is 14,5 th km (in 1990); the length of auto-roads is 164,9 th km including hard cover 69%. Navigation is in the Caspian Sea, the lake Balhash the rivers Irtish, Sir-Darya , Urals. There is a pipe-line . Health resorts: Borovoe, Alma-Arasan, Sariagach and other. 

National currency: tenge