Kyrgyz Republic

Respublika Kirgizstan (Russian)

Kyrgyz Respublikasy (Kyrgyz)

Political Status: Designated autonomous republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on February 1, 1926; became constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on December 5, 1936; Republic of Kyrgyzstan proclaimed December 13, 1990; independence from the USSR declared by the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet August 31, 1991; current constitution introduced on May 5, 1993.

Area: 76,640 sq. mi. (198,500 sq. km.).

Population: 4,822,900 (1999C); 5,289,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Center (1999C): BISHKEK (formerly Frunze, 619,000).

Official Languages: Kyrgyz, Russian. On May 29, 2000, President Akayev signed legislation recognizing Russian as an official language. It had previously enjoyed official status in areas where ethnic Russians are a majority. Kyrgyz is the “state language.”

Monetary Unit: Som (official rate July 1, 2005: 40.96 soms ...

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