country in W Asia: became independent upon the breakup of the U.S.S.R. (1991): 1,049,155 sq mi (2,717,301 sq km); pop. 16,464,000; cap. Astana: formerly, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
See Kazakhstan in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A country of west-central Asia south of Russia and northeast of the Caspian Sea. The original Turkic inhabitants were overrun by the Mongols in the 13th century and ruled by various khanates until the Russian conquest of 1730 to 1853. The region became an autonomous republic of the USSR in 1920 and was a constituent republic from 1936 to 1991, when it gained its independence. Astana is the capital and Almaty the largest city. Population: 15,300,000.