Adjacent to the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, with 16 million residents. The country became part of the Russian and then Soviet empires, and became host to the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons testing during the height of the Cold War. In 1991, Kazakhstan was the last country to declare its independence from the former Soviet block and its former leader. In 2007, Parliament gave the president lifetime power and privileges. The country is ethnically and culturally very diverse, in large part due to Stalin's deportation of various ethnic groups that migrated to Kazakhstan. While the country has an oil industry, the transition to capitalism has been challenging.

USAID helped the Yassy community in southern Kazakhstan build an irrigation ...

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