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A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV. Over the next few years, the new president manipulated the parliament to accrue new powers for himself. In July 2009, after months of harassment against his opponents and media critics, BAKIEV won re-election in a presidential campaign that the international community deemed flawed. In April 2010, nationwide protests led to the resignation and expulsion of BAKIEV. His successor, Roza OTUNBAEVA, served as transitional president until Almazbek ATAMBAEV was inaugurated in December 2011. Continuing concerns include: the trajectory of democratization, endemic corruption, poor interethnic relations, and terrorism.


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Geography

Location
Central Asia, west of China, south of Kazakhstan

Geographic coordinates
41 00 N, 75 00 E

Map references
Asia

Area World Ranking: 87
Total 199,951 sq km
Land 191,801 sq km
Water 8,150 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries
Total 3,051 km
Border countries
China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,224 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims
None (landlocked)

Climate
Dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain
Peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
Highest point
Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural resources
Abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Land use
Arable land 6.55%
Permanent crops 0.28%
Other 93.17%
Note
Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural-growth walnut forest (2005)

Irrigated land
10,196 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
46.5 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 10.08 cu km/yr (3%/3%/94%)
Per capita 1,916 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
NA

Environment - current issues
Water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; 94% of the country is 1,000 m above sea level with an average elevation of 2,750 m; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes


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  Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek):


  GPS points from Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek)

Chat Jalal-abad Oblasty

Sazanovskoye Issyk-kul'skaya Oblast'

Arimdzhan Jalal-abad Oblasty

Chadir Kol Naryn Oblasty

Kichi-dzhergylchak Issyk-kul'skaya Oblast'

Khrebet Mul'da-tau Kyrgyzstan (general)

Kara-oy Naryn Oblasty

Gory Sary-kamys Kyrgyzstan (general)




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