Kazakhstan; Kazakh: Қазақстан Qazaqstan, Russian:Казахстан, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a contiguous transcontinental country in Central Asia, with its smaller part west of the Ural River in Europe. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia to the North and northwest, the Caspain Sea to the Southwest, Kokhand and Khiva to the South, and China to the East.
Russian and Soviet Era
The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. The Russian Empire didn't conquer land below the Kazakh Khanate. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, an integral part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was a Socialist Soviet Republic of the Soviet Union(as the Kazakh SSR) until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the late 1950s, the Soviets built Baikonur Cosmodrone, the world's first and largest operational space launch facility in the Kazakh SSR right near the international border with Kokand.
After 1991, Kazakhstan became independent but suffers some poverty. On 8 June 2005, the Russian Federation Councilratified an agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan extending Russia's rent term of the spaceport until 2050.