Uzbekistan (U.S. pronunciation: , U.K. pronunciation: ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (‘zbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси) is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Between 1924 and 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union.
Once part of the Persian Samanid and later Timurid empires, the region which today includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by nomads who spoke an Eastern Turkic language. This region was subsequently incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and in 1924 it became a bordered constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). It subsequently became the independent Republic of Uzbekistan on August 31, 1991 (officially, as of the following day). Most of Uzbekistan’s population today belong to the Uzbek ethnic group and speak the Uzbek language, a language belonging to the family of Turkic languages.
Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which deter foreign investment and imports in favour of domestic 'import substitution'. The policy of a gradual, strictly controlled transition to the market economy has produced beneficial results in the form of economic recovery after 1995.
Uzbekistan's domestic policies on human rights and individual freedoms have been criticised by some international organizations.
How places in Uzbekistan are organized
All places in Uzbekistan
Further information on historical place organization in Uzbekistan