OurHomeland – Kazakstan.
Republik of Kazakstan issituated in the very centre of the Eurasian continent.
Area: 2.720.000 sg. km (i.e. the country is the 9th largest inthe world). Common border with Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrghyzstanand Turkmenistan.
Climate is sharplycontinental. Average winter temperature in January from — 1°C — 5°C (south) to-20°C (North). In summer the temperature varies from +18°C to +30°C.
Natural zones: forest-steppesand steppes, deserts and semi-deserts.
Landscape: the overwhelmingportion of the territory is occupied with plains, plateaus, low hills, lowlands with only 10 % of its territory accounting for the mountains of Tien Shan, Tarbagatayand Altay.
Main waterways are Yertys, Syrdaria, Oral, Ishim, Tobol, Ili,Shu, Caspian and Aral Seas,lakes Balkhash, Alakol, Tenghiz and Sasykkol.
Mineral resources: Kazakstani entrailsharbour over a half of world chromium reserves withlead, zink, copper, silver and gold into the bargain.Kazakstan ranks first in the world as to tungstenreserves, second – in phosphorus ores, third – in manganese, fourth – in leadand molybdenum and eighth – in iron ores.
The Constitution defines the state systemas a form of presidential republic considering it the most flexible version inconditions of today. The President ensures coordinated performance of all the branchesof state power and accountability of power bodies to the people. Parliament ofthe Republic is the supremerepresentative authority in the country: it performs legislative functions.Executive power is assumed by the Government of the country. The countryrecognizes ideological and political pluralism. All public associations enjoyequal rights in the faseof the Law. National currency of theRepublic – tenghe.
Ethnically the more than17-million strong population of Kazakstan is ratherdiverse. Along with the two major groups, Kazaks andRussians, there reside over 100 other nationalities. Among them are Ukrainians,Byelorussians, Germans, Uzbeks,Tatars, Uigurs, Azerbaijanians, and many others. The people of Kazakstan has every reason to be proud of politicalstability in the state and of traditionally friendly inter-ethnic relations.
State language of theRepublic is Kazak. Russian enjoys the status of theofficial language.
Economically, Kazakstan is divided into five major regions: Central,North, South, West and East ones. Astana remains thecapital of the country. Until then both Astana and Almaty are the seats of the President's residencies.
Industry – the Basis of the Economy.
Tremendous is the contribution made by industrial enterprisesinto building of the gross national product of the Republic of Kazakstan. Major industries in the Republic are productionof mineral wealth, chemistry, power engineering and metallurgy. No less significantbranches as machine-building, light-and food industries.
The produce ofmining-and-smelting works enjoys fine demand abroad which makes it major sourceof hard currency influx. At present they have elaborated programmesof rarional development of mining basis, ofreconstruction and updating of dressing and such other smelting works. Besides there have been launched newindustries to put out produce of supreme commodity readiness.
East Kazakstanis to host a titanium-producing industry of its own which is expected to putout slags, sponge titanium, metallic titanium, rolledproducts, titanium white.
Export deliveries ofindustrial products manufactured in Kazakstan areeffected to more than a hundred foreign countries.Agriculture
Kazakstan – is oneof the leading grain producers in the world. In grain-growing regions theycultivate mainly strong and durum varieties of wheat with high content of gluten.Worth noting is that these are the very grades which enjoy high demand in theworld market.
Kazakstanis the country where they sow rice, buckwheat, rape, soy-beans, oats, cultivatecotton, sugar -beet, and a great many fruit and vegetables.
Cattle-breeding, one of thekey branches of agriculture, provides the population with capital foods and thelight industry – with valuable raw materials.
Predominant in northernregions is dairy cattle-rearing and swine-breeding while the economy of southernareas is dominated by beef cattle husbandry, sheep-breeding, horse-rearing andcamel-breeding with beef cattle husbandry and horse-rearing in the West andEast of the country.
In many regions of theRepublic, particularly in desert and semi-desert ones, major branches ofagricultural production that determine ways and living standards of the ethnicpopulation are sheep-breeding, horse-rearing and camel-breeding. As tosheep-breeding it is practiced mostly along the following lines: fine-fleeced,semi-finefleeced, meat-and-fat and lamb-fur ones.
All across the 1800 km-long “vertical line” that separates southern andnorthern confines of Kazakstan one landscape zonereplaces another: forest-and-steppe, steppe, semi-desert and desert ones. Inthe West the territory of Kazakstan shares its borderwith the Caspian Sea, in the East it is the Altaytaiga that lines the Republic and high peaks of Tien-Shanconstitute the border .of the country in the South. Three major rivers – Yertys, Tobol and Ishim flow into the Arctic Ocean while the rest of the streamseither fall into land-locked reservoirs (Caspian and Aralseas, the lake of Balkhash) or just get lost in thevast steppe or desert ranges.
In Kazakstanthere grow over 6000 species of plants and on its vast space one can comeacross almost 500 species of birds, animals (178 spcs),reptiles (49 spcs), amphibia(12 spcs), fish (107 spcs). The host of the invertebrate is ever greater: insects only number some 30000species.
The Usturtplateau situated between the Caspian and Aral seas isa slightly desert-like plain, here andthere grown with wormwood and unprepossessing shrubs of Russian thistle. Onlyin wide-spread drainless depressions there occurshrubs of black saxaul. Steep ledges (chinks) addimmensely to the inimitable beauty of the landscape.
Particularly picturesque is the Western chink whose heightattains 340 m: its eroded precipice would, time and again, take quite fanciful forms. The area is inhabitedby such rare animals as Usturt moufflonor urial, ratel from thefamily of martens, long-needledhedge-hog and a good many species of wild cats: karakal,barkhan cat and the famous cheetah. No small is thenumber of slim gazelles-zhairans, beautiful bustards(or Jacks) and such other birds of desert.
Slopes of Northern Tien-Shan are covered with fir-woods while those of theWest are grown with scarce archa trees eventuallyintermingled with hish-grass waterless valleys. Herethe gorges are grown with apple-trees and other nut-and-fruit trees. High up inthe sky one can see mountainous peaks covered with permafrost snows and glaciers.
It's only here that one can come across a frightful snow leopard (irbis), Tien-Shan brown bear, Siberian stag. The “feathered world” is represented by the famous beardedvulture whose wing-span is up to over 3 m, a Himalaiyanular or mountain turkey-hen, a snow griffon-vulture, a golden eagle, an Alpine finch and fairy-like blue bird-Alpine jackdaw…
If you happen to visittaiga-grown mountains of the Altay you might comeacross a giant of an elik, a handsome Siberian stag,our smallest deep- a musk-deep (“kabyrga”), thefamous sable and gracefully handsome chipmunk.
Only here one can find a wood-grouse,a hazel-grouse, a willow grouse and a ptarmigan. Small wonder that the nationalauthorities have turned the Alpine lake Markakol in SouthAltay into a special reserve to protect the local flora and fauna. The lake hosts a good many waterfowl whereas itsbanks and the woods serve a fine nestling place for such rare birds as fish-hawk and black stork. As to the Alpineheights they are inhabited by an exceedingly rare birg species – the Altayular.
Steppes of Kazakstan are no second in beauty to other landscape zones.They gain particular fascination because of sweet-and salt-water lakes whichattract thousands of waterfowl representedby dozens of species of ducks, geese, gulls, herons, sandpipers, roseate terns.