country in SC Asia: became independent upon the breakup of the U.S.S.R. (1991): 76,641 sq mi (198,500 sq km); cap. Bishkek: formerly, Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
A country of Central Asia bordering on Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and northwest China. Inhabited since the 1200s by the Kyrgyz people, the region was annexed by Russia (1876), incorporated into the USSR after the Russian Revolution (1922), and established as the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936. Kyrgyzstan, sometimes called Kirghizia, declared its independence in 1991 upon the dissolution of the USSR. Bishkek is the capital and the largest city.