Uzbekistan (officially the Republic of Uzbekistan), is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic, comprising 12 provinces, 1 autonomous republic, and 1 capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five countries: Kazakhstan and the Aral Sea to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.
Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and later Timurid Empires, the region that today includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. The area was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, and in 1924 what is now Uzbekistan became a bordered constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991 (officially celebrated the following day).