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Republic of Kazakhstan

  • Қазақстан Республикасы (Kazakh)
    Qazaqstan Respublikasy
  • Республика Казахстан (Russian)
    Respublika Kazakhstan
Emblem of Kazakhstan
Менің Қазақстаным (Kazakh)
Menıñ Qazaqstanym
"My Kazakhstan"
Location of Kazakhstan
Capital Astana
51°10′N 71°26′E / 51.167°N 71.433°E / 51.167; 71.433
Largest city Almaty
43°16′39″N 76°53′45″E / 43.27750°N 76.89583°E / 43.27750; 76.89583
Official languages
Ethnic groups
  • 70.7% Kazakh
  • 15.2% Russian
  • 3.3% Uzbek
  • 1.9% Ukrainian
  • 1.5% Uyghur
  • 1.1% German
  • 1.1% Tatar
  • 5.2% Others
  • 69.3% Islam
  • 17.2% Christianity
  • 11.0% No response
  • 2.3% Atheism
  • 0.2% Others
Demonym(s) Kazakh
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic under an authoritarian government
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Oljas Bektenov
Legislature Parliament
• Alash Autonomy
13 December 1917
• Kirghiz ASSR
26 August 1920
• Kazakh ASSR
19 June 1925
• Kazakh SSR
5 December 1936
• Declaration of sovereignty
25 October 1990
• Reconstituted as the Republic of Kazakhstan
10 December 1991
• Independence from the USSR
16 December 1991
26 December 1991
• Current constitution
30 August 1995
• Total
2,724,900 km2 (1,052,100 sq mi) (9th)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
20,000,000 (62nd)
• Density
7/km2 (18.1/sq mi) (236th)
GDP (PPP) 2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $696.903 billion (41st)
• Per capita
Increase $34,476 (56th)
GDP (nominal) 2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $290.994 billion (49rd)
• Per capita
Increase $14,395 (64th)
Gini (2018)  27.8
HDI (2021) Decrease 0.811
very high · 56th
Currency Tenge (₸) (KZT)
Time zone UTC+5 / +6 (West / East)
ISO 3166 code KZ
Internet TLD

Kazakhstan is a country in the middle of Eurasia. Its official name is the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in the world, and it is also the biggest landlocked country in the world. Before the end of the Soviet Union, it was called "Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic". The president of the country since 1991 is called Nursultan Nazarbayev. Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan. Almaty was the capital until 1998, when it moved to Astana.

The Kazakh language is the native language, but Russian has equal official status for all administrative and institutional purposes. Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with Christianity practiced by 26%; Russia leases (rents) the land for the Baykonur Cosmodrome (site of Russian spacecraft launches) from Kazakhstan.


The English word Kazakh, meaning a member of the Kazakh people, derives from Russian: казах. The native name is Kazakh: қазақ, romanized: qazaq. It might originate from the Turkic word verb qaz-, 'to wander', reflecting the Kazakhs' nomadic culture. The term 'Cossack' is of the same origin.

In Turko-Persian sources, the term Özbek-Qazaq first appeared during the mid-16th century, in the Tarikh-i-Rashidi by Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a Chagatayid prince of Kashmir, which locates Kazakh in the eastern part of Desht-i Qipchaq. According to Vasily Bartold, the Kazakhs likely began using that name during the 15th century.

Though Kazakh traditionally referred only to ethnic Kazakhs, including those living in China, Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and other neighbouring countries, the term is increasingly being used to refer to any inhabitant of Kazakhstan, including residents of other ethnicities.


Kazakhstan BMNG
Satellite image of Kazakhstan (November 2004)

As it extends across both sides of the Ural River, considered the dividing line separating Europe and Asia, Kazakhstan is one of only two landlocked countries in the world that has territory in two continents (the other is Azerbaijan).

With an area of 2,700,000 square kilometres (1,000,000 sq mi) – equivalent in size to Western Europe – Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country and largest landlocked country in the world. While it was part of the Russian Empire, Kazakhstan lost some of its territory to China's Xinjiang province, and some to Uzbekistan's Karakalpakstan autonomous republic during Soviet years.

Eurasian steppe belt
The Kazakh Steppe is part of the Eurasian Steppe Belt (in on the map).

It shares borders of 6,846 kilometres (4,254 mi) with Russia, 2,203 kilometres (1,369 mi) with Uzbekistan, 1,533 kilometres (953 mi) with China, 1,051 kilometres (653 mi) with Kyrgyzstan, and 379 kilometres (235 mi) with Turkmenistan. Major cities include Astana, Almaty, Qarağandy, Şymkent, Atyrau, and Öskemen. It lies between latitudes 40° and 56° N, and longitudes 46° and 88° E. While located primarily in Asia, a small portion of Kazakhstan is also located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe.

Kazakhstan's terrain extends west to east from the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains and north to south from the plains of Western Siberia to the oases and deserts of Central Asia. The Kazakh Steppe (plain), with an area of around 804,500 square kilometres (310,600 sq mi), occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest dry steppe region. The steppe is characterised by large areas of grasslands and sandy regions. Major seas, lakes and rivers include Lake Balkhash, Lake Zaysan, the Charyn River and gorge, the Ili, Irtysh, Ishim, Ural and Syr Darya rivers, and the Aral Sea until it largely dried up in one of the world's worst environmental disasters.

The Charyn Canyon is 80 kilometres (50 mi) long, cutting through a red sandstone plateau and stretching along the Charyn River gorge in northern Tian Shan ("Heavenly Mountains", 200 km (124 mi) east of Almaty) at 43°21′1.16″N 79°4′49.28″E / 43.3503222°N 79.0803556°E / 43.3503222; 79.0803556. The steep canyon slopes, columns and arches rise to heights of between 150 and 300 metres (490 and 980 feet). The inaccessibility of the canyon provided a safe haven for a rare ash tree, Fraxinus sogdiana, which survived the Ice Age there and has now also grown in some other areas. Bigach crater, at 48°30′N 82°00′E / 48.500°N 82.000°E / 48.500; 82.000, is a Pliocene or Miocene asteroid impact crater, 8 km (5 mi) in diameter and estimated to be 5±3 million years old.

Kazakhstan's Almaty region is also home to the Mynzhylky mountain plateau.

Natural resources

Reserve Karkaraly
Qarağandy Region

Kazakhstan has an abundant supply of accessible mineral and fossil fuel resources. Development of petroleum, natural gas, and mineral extractions has attracted most of the over $40 billion in foreign investment in Kazakhstan since 1993 and accounts for some 57 percent of the nation's industrial output (or approximately 13 percent of gross domestic product). According to some estimates, Kazakhstan has the second largest uranium, chromium, lead, and zinc reserves; the third largest manganese reserves; the fifth largest copper reserves; and ranks in the top ten for coal, iron, and gold. It is also an exporter of diamonds. Perhaps most significant for economic development, Kazakhstan also has the 11th largest proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas. One such location is the Tokarevskoye gas condensate field.

In total, there are 160 deposits with over 2.7 billion tonnes (2.7 billion long tons) of petroleum. Oil explorations have shown that the deposits on the Caspian shore are only a small part of a much larger deposit. It is said that 3.5 billion tonnes (3.4 billion long tons) of oil and 2.5 billion cubic metres (88 billion cubic feet) of gas could be found in that area. Overall the estimate of Kazakhstan's oil deposits is 6.1 billion tonnes (6.0 billion long tons). However, there are only three refineries within the country, situated in Atyrau, Pavlodar, and Şymkent. These are not capable of processing the total crude output, so much of it is exported to Russia. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Kazakhstan was producing approximately 1,540,000 barrels (245,000 m3) of oil per day in 2009.

Kazakhstan also possesses large deposits of phosphorite. Two of the largest deposits include the Karatau basin with 650 million tonnes of P2O5 and the Chilisai deposit of the Aqtobe phosphorite basin located in northwestern Kazakhstan, with resources of 500–800 million tonnes of 9 percent ore.

On 17 October 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) accepted Kazakhstan as "EITI Compliant", meaning that the country has a basic and functional process to ensure the regular disclosure of natural resource revenues.


Kazakhstan map of Köppen climate classification
Kazakhstan map of Köppen climate classification

Kazakhstan has an "extreme" continental climate, with hot summers and very cold winters. Indeed, Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar. Precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions, the winter being particularly dry.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for large cities in Kazakhstan
Location July (°C) July (°F) January (°C) January (°F)
Almaty 30/18 86/64 0/−8 33/17
Şymkent 32/17 91/66 4/−4 39/23
Qarağandy 27/14 80/57 −8/−17 16/1
Astana 27/15 80/59 −10/−18 14/−1
Pavlodar 28/15 82/59 −11/−20 12/−5
Aqtobe 30/15 86/61 −8/−16 17/2


There are ten nature reserves and ten national parks in Kazakhstan that provide safe haven for many rare and endangered plants and animals. Common plants are Astragalus, Gagea, Allium, Carex and Oxytropis; endangered plant species include native wild apple (Malus sieversii), wild grape (Vitis vinifera) and several wild tulip species (e.g., Tulipa greigii) and rare onion species Allium karataviense, also Iris willmottiana and Tulipa kaufmanniana. Kazakhstan had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.23/10, ranking it 26th globally out of 172 countries.

Common mammals include the wolf, red fox, corsac fox, moose, argali (the largest species of sheep), Eurasian lynx, Pallas's cat, and snow leopards, several of which are protected. Kazakhstan's Red Book of Protected Species lists 125 vertebrates including many birds and mammals, and 404 plants including fungi, algae and lichens.

Administrative divisions

Kazakhstan is divided into seventeen regions (Kazakh: облыстар, oblystar; Russian: области, oblasti) plus three cities (Almaty, Astana and Şymkent) which are independent of the region in which they are situated. The regions are subdivided into 177 districts (Kazakh: аудандар, audandar; Russian: районы, rayony). The districts are further subdivided into rural districts at the lowest level of administration, which include all rural settlements and villages without an associated municipal government.

The cities of Almaty and Astana have status "state importance" and do not belong to any region. The city of Baikonur has a special status because it is being leased until 2050 to Russia for the Baikonur cosmodrome. In June 2018 the city of Şymkent became a "city of republican significance".

Each region is headed by an äkim (regional governor) appointed by the president. District äkimi are appointed by regional akims. Kazakhstan's government relocated its capital from Almaty, established under the Soviet Union, to Astana on 10 December 1997.

Municipal divisions

Municipalities exist at each level of administrative division in Kazakhstan. Cities of republican, regional, and district significance are designated as urban inhabited localities; all others are designated rural. At the highest level are the cities of Almaty and Astana, which are classified as cities of republican significance on the administrative level equal to that of a region. At the intermediate level are cities of regional significance on the administrative level equal to that of a district. Cities of these two levels may be divided into city districts. At the lowest level are cities of district significance, and over two-thousand villages and rural settlements (aul) on the administrative level equal to that of rural districts.

Urban centres

Largest cities or towns in Kazakhstan
Rank Name Pop.
1 Almaty 1,854,656
2 Astana 1,078,384
3 Şymkent 1,009,086
4 Qarağandy 497,712
5 Aqtobe 487,994
6 Taraz 357,791
7 Pavlodar 333,989
8 Öskemen 331,614
9 Semey 323,138
10 Atyrau 269,720


The US Census Bureau International Database lists the population of Kazakhstan as 18.9 million (May 2019), while United Nations sources such as the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects give an estimate of 18,319,618. Official estimates put the population of Kazakhstan at 20 million as of November 2023. In 2013, Kazakhstan's population rose to 17,280,000 with a 1.7 percent growth rate over the past year according to the Kazakhstan Statistics Agency.

The 2009 population estimate is 6.8 percent higher than the population reported in the last census from January 1999. The decline in population that began after 1989 has been arrested and possibly reversed. Men and women make up 48.3 and 51.7 percent of the population, respectively.


Equestrian heritage, Kazakhstan
A Kazakhstani performer demonstrates the long equestrian heritage as part of the gala concert during the opening ceremonies of the Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion.

Before the Russian colonisation, the Kazakhs had a highly developed culture based on their nomadic pastoral economy. Islam was introduced into the region with the arrival of the Arabs in the 8th century. It initially took hold in the southern parts of Turkestan and spread northward. The Samanids helped the religion take root through zealous missionary work. The Golden Horde further propagated Islam amongst the tribes in the region during the 14th century.

Kazakhstan is home to a large number of prominent contributors to literature, science and philosophy: Abay Qunanbayuli, Mukhtar Auezov, Gabit Musirepov, Kanysh Satpayev, Mukhtar Shakhanov, Saken Seyfullin, Jambyl Jabayev, among many others.

Tourism is a rapidly growing industry in Kazakhstan and it is joining the international tourism networking. In 2010, Kazakhstan joined The Region Initiative (TRI) which is a Tri-regional Umbrella of Tourism-related organisations. TRI is functioning as a link between three regions: South Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Ukraine are now partners, and Kazakhstan is linked with other South Asian, Eastern European, and Central Asian countries in the tourism market.


Kazakh literature is defined as "the body of literature, both oral and written, produced in the Kazakh language by the Kazakh people of Central Asia". Kazakh literature expands from the current territory of Kazakhstan, also including the era of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, Kazakh recognised territory under the Russian Empire and the Kazakh Khanate. There is some overlap with several complementary themes, including the literature of Turkic tribes that inhabited Kazakhstan over the course of its history and literature written by ethnic Kazakhs.

USSR stamp A.Qunanbayuli 1965 4k
1965 Soviet stamp honouring Kazakh essayist and poet Abai Qunanbaiuly

According to Chinese written sources from the 6th–8th centuries CE, the Turkic tribes of Kazakhstan had an oral poetry tradition. These came from earlier periods and were primarily transmitted by bards: professional storytellers and musical performers. Traces of this tradition are shown on Orkhon script stone carvings dated 5th–7th centuries CE that describe rule of Kultegin and Bilge, two early Turkic rulers ("kagans"). Amongst the Kazakhs, the bard was a primarily, though not exclusively, male profession. Since at least the 17th century, Kazakh bards could be divided into two main categories: the zhıraws (zhiraus, žyraus), who passed on the works of others, usually not creating and adding their own original work; and the aqyns (akyns), who improvised or created their own poems, stories or songs. There were several types of works, such as didactic termes, elegiac tolgaws, and epic zhırs. Although the origins of such tales are often unknown, most of them were associated with bards of the recent or more distant past, who supposedly created them or passed them on, by the time most Kazakh poetry and prose was first written down in the second half of the 19th century. There are clear stylistic differences between works first created in the 19th century, and works dating from earlier periods but not documented before the 19th century, such as those attributed to such 16th- and 17th-century bards as Er Shoban and Dosmombet Zhıraw (also known as Dospambet Žyrau; he appeared to have been literate, and reportedly visited Constantinople), and even to such 15th-century bards as Shalkiz and Asan Qayghı.

Other notable bards include Kaztugan Žyrau, Žiembet Žyrau, Axtamberdy Žyrau, and Buxar Žyrau Kalkamanuly, who was an advisor to Ablai Khan, and whose works have been preserved by Mäšhür Žüsip Köpeev. Er Targhın and Alpamıs are two of the most famous examples of Kazakh literature to be recorded in the 19th century. The Book of Dede Korkut and Oguz Name (a story of an ancient Turkic king Oghuz Khan) are the most well-known Turkic heroic legends. Initially created around the 9th century CE, they were passed on through generations in oral form. The legendary tales were recorded by Turkish authors in 14–16th centuries C.E.

The preeminent role in the development of modern literary Kazakh belongs to Abai Qunanbaiuly (Kazakh: Абай Құнанбайұлы, sometimes Russified to Abay Kunanbayev, Абай Кунанбаев) (1845–1904), whose writings did much to preserve Kazakh folk culture. Abai's major work is The Book of Words (Kazakh: қара сөздері, Qara sözderi), a philosophical treatise and collection of poems where he criticises Russian colonial policies and encourages other Kazakhs to embrace education and literacy. The literary magazines Ay Qap (published between 1911 and 1915 in Arabic script) and Qazaq (published between 1913 and 1918) played an important role in the development of the intellectual and political life among early 20th-century Kazakhs.


Stamp of Kazakhstan 659
Nowruz on stamp of Kazakhstan

The modern state of Kazakhstan is home to the Kazakh State Kurmangazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments, the Kazakh State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kazakh National Opera and the Kazakh State Chamber Orchestra. The folk instrument orchestra was named after Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, a famous composer and dombra player from the 19th century. The Musical-Dramatic Training College, founded in 1931, was the first institute of higher education for music. Two years later, the Orchestra of Kazakh Folk Musical Instruments was formed. The Foundation Asyl Mura is archiving and publishing historical recordings of great samples of Kazakh music both traditional and classical. The leading conservatoire is in Almaty, the Qurmanghazy Conservatoire. It competes with the national conservatoire in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital.

When referring to traditional Kazakh music, authentic folklore must be separated from "folklorism". The latter denotes music executed by academically trained performers who aim at preserving the traditional music for coming generations. As far as can be reconstructed, the music of Kazakhstan from the period before a strong Russian influence consists of instrumental music and vocal music. Instrumental music, with the pieces ("Küy") being performed by soloists. Text is often seen in the background (or "program") for the music, as a lot of Küy titles refer to stories. Vocal music, either as part of a ceremony such as a wedding (mainly performed by women), or as part of a feast. Here we might divide into subgenres: epic singing, containing not only historical facts, but as well the tribe's genealogy, love songs, and didactic verses; and as a special form the composition of two or more singers in public (Aitys), of dialogue character and usually unexpectedly frankly in content.

A-Studio was created in 1982 in Almaty, then called Alma-Ata, hence called "Alma-Ata Studio".

The Russian influence on the music life in Kazakhstan can be seen in two spheres: first, the introduction of musical academic institutions such as concert houses with opera stages, and conservatories, where European music was performed and taught, and second, by trying to incorporate Kazakh traditional music into these academic structures. Controlled first by the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan's folk and classical traditions became connected with ethnic Russian music and Western European music. Prior to the 20th century, Kazakh folk music was collected and studied by ethnographic research teams including composers, music critics and musicologists. In the first part of the 19th century, Kazakh music was transcribed in linear notation. Some composers of this era set Kazakh folk songs to Russian-style European classical music.

The Kazakhs themselves, however, did not write their own music in notation until 1931. Later, as part of the Soviet Union, Kazakh folk culture was encouraged in a sanitised manner designed to avoid political and social unrest. The result was a bland derivative of real Kazakh folk music. In 1920, Aleksandr Zatayevich, a Russian official, created major works of art music with melodies and other elements of Kazakh folk music. Beginning in 1928 and accelerating in the 1930s, he also adapted traditional Kazakh instruments for use in Russian-style ensembles, such as by increasing the number of frets and strings. Soon, these styles of modern orchestral playing became the only way for musicians to officially play; Kazakh folk was turned into patriotic, professional and socialist endeavours.

Fine arts

In Kazakhstan, the fine arts, in the classical sense, have their origins in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It was largely influenced by Russian artists, such as Vasily Vereshchagin and Nikolai Khludov, who intensively travelled in Central Asia. Khludov had a particular influence on the development of the local school of painting, becoming the teacher of many local artists. The most famous of these is Abilkhan Kasteyev, after whom the State Museum of Art of Kazakhstan was renamed in 1984.

The Kazakh school of fine arts was fully formed by the 1940s and flourished in the 1950s. Local painters, graphic artists and sculptors, trained under the unified Soviet system of artist education, began active work, often using national motifs in their art. The painters O. Tansykbaev, J. Shardenov, K. Telzhanov, and S. Aitbaev, graphic artists E. Sidorkina and A. Duzelkhanov, and sculptors H. Nauryzbaeva and E. Sergebaeva are today counted among the key figures of Kazakhstani art.


In the national cuisine, livestock meat, like horse meat and beef can be cooked in a variety of ways and is usually served with a wide assortment of traditional bread products. Refreshments include black tea, often served with milk and dried fruits (such as dried apricots) and nuts. In southern provinces, people often prefer green tea. Traditional milk-derived drinks such as ayran, shubat and kymyz. A traditional Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetisers on the table, followed by a soup and one or two main courses such as pilaf and beshbarmak. They also drink their national beverage, kumys, which consists of fermented mare's milk.


FC Astana vs. Celtic FC UCL 2017
Astana Arena opened in 2009.

Kazakhstan consistently performs in Olympic competitions. It is especially successful in boxing. This has brought some attention to the Central Asian nation and increased world awareness of its athletes. Dmitry Karpov and Olga Rypakova are among the most notable Kazakhstani athletes. Dmitry Karpov is a distinguished decathlete, taking bronze in both the 2004 Summer Olympics, and the 2003 and 2007 World Athletics Championships. Olga Rypakova is an athlete, specialising in triple jump (women's), taking silver in the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and Gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Kazakhstan's city of Almaty submitted bids twice for the Winter Olympics: in 2014 and again for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Astana and Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games.

Popular sports in Kazakhstan include football, basketball, ice hockey, bandy, and boxing.

Football is the most popular sport in Kazakhstan. The Football Federation of Kazakhstan is the sport's national governing body. The FFK organises the men's, women's, and futsal national teams.

Kazakhstan's most famous basketball player was Alzhan Zharmukhamedov, who played for CSKA Moscow and the Soviet Union's national basketball team in the 1960s and 1970s. Kazakhstan's national basketball team was established in 1992, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since its foundation, it has been competitive at the continental level. Its greatest accomplishment was at the 2002 Asian Games, where it defeated the Philippines in its last game to win the bronze medal. At the official Asian Basketball Championship, now called FIBA Asia Cup, the Kazakhs' best finish was 4th place in 2007.

The Kazakhstan national bandy team is among the best in the world, and has many times won the bronze medal at the Bandy World Championship, including the 2012 edition when Kazakhstan hosted the tournament on home ice. The team won the first bandy tournament at the Asian Winter Games. During the Soviet time, Dynamo Alma-Ata won the Soviet Union national championships in 1977 and 1990 and the European Cup in 1978. Bandy is developed in ten of the country's seventeen administrative divisions (eight of the fourteen regions and two of the three cities which are situated inside of but are not part of regions). Akzhaiyk from Oral, however, is the only professional club.

Nik Antropov Jets 2012-02-11
Nikolai Antropov

The Kazakh national ice hockey team have competed in ice hockey in the 1998 and 2006 Winter Olympics, as well as in the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. The Kazakhstan Hockey Championship is held since 1992. Barys Astana is the main domestic Kazakhstani ice hockey professional team, and having played in the Kazakhstani national league until the 2008–09 season, when they were transferred to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. Meanwhile, the Kazzinc-Torpedo and play in the Supreme Hockey League since 1996 and the Saryarka Karagandy since 2012. Top Kazakhstani ice hockey players include Nik Antropov, Ivan Kulshov and Evgeni Nabokov.

Kazakh boxers are generally well known in the world. In the last three Olympic Games, their performance was assessed as one of the best and they had more medals than any country in the world, except Cuba and Russia (in all three games). In 1996 and 2004, three Kazakhstani boxers (Vassiliy Jirov in 1996, Bakhtiyar Artayev in 2004 and Serik Sapiyev in 2012) were recognised as the best boxers for their techniques with the Val Barker Trophy, awarded to the best boxer of the tournament. In boxing, Kazakhstan performed well in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Two boxers, Bekzat Sattarkhanov and Yermakhan Ibraimov, earned gold medals. Another two boxers, Bulat Zhumadilov and Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov, earned silver medals. Oleg Maskaev, born in Zhambyl, representing Russia, was the WBC Heavyweight Champion after knocking out Hasim Rahman on 12 August 2006. The reigning WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion is Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin. Natascha Ragosina, representing Russia, but from Qarağandy held seven versions of the women's super middleweight title, and two heavyweight titles during her boxing career. She holds the record as the longest-reigning WBA female super middleweight champion, and the longest-reigning WBC female super middleweight champion.


Red Carpet at AIAFF
International Astana Action Film Festival, 2010

Kazakhstan's film industry is run through the state-owned Kazakhfilm studios based in Almaty. The studio has produced award-winning movies such as Myn Bala, Harmony Lessons, and Shal. Kazakhstan is the host of the International Astana Action Film Festival and the Eurasia International Film Festival held annually. Hollywood director Timur Bekmambetov is from Kazakhstan and has become active in bridging Hollywood to the Kazakhstan film industry.

Kazakhstan journalist Artur Platonov won Best Script for his documentary "Sold Souls" about Kazakhstan's contribution to the struggle against terrorism at the 2013 Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards.

Serik Aprymov's Little Brother (Bauyr) won at the Central and Eastern Europe Film Festival goEast from the German Federal Foreign Office.


Timur Bekmambetov by Gage Skidmore
Timur Bekmambetov, a popular Kazakh film director

Kazakhstan is ranked 161 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index A mid-March 2002 court order, with the government as a plaintiff, stated that Respublika were to stop printing for three months. The order was evaded by printing under other titles, such as Not That Respublika. In early 2014, a court also issued a cease publication order to the small-circulation Assandi-Times newspaper, saying it was a part of the Respublika group. Human Rights Watch said: "this absurd case displays the lengths to which Kazakh authorities are willing to go to bully critical media into silence."

With support from the US Department of State's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative opened a media support centre in Almaty to assist press outlets in Kazakhstan.

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Hazrat-e Turkestan, Kazakhstan
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui

UNESCO World Heritage sites

Kazakhstan has three cultural and two natural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The cultural sites are:

  • Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui, added in 2003
  • Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly, added in 2004
  • Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor, added in 2014

The natural sites are:

  • Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan, added in 2008
  • Western Tien Shan, added in 2016

Related pages

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See also

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