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Kazakhstan's 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs (63% of the population), Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, and Uyghurs.

Uzbek rule there lasted two centuries until the Russian arrival.

During the 17th century, the Kazakhs fought Oirats, a federation of western Mongol tribes, including the Dzungar.

Political disunion, tribal rivalries, and the diminishing importance of overland trade routes between East and West weakened the Kazakh Khanate.

Khiva Khanate used this opportunity and annexed Mangyshlak Peninsula.

Also, the Emirate of Bukhara ruled Shymkent before the Russians took dominance.

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand its influence into Central Asia.

In 1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union.

Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Kazakh territory was a key constituent of the Eurasian Steppe route, the ancestor of the terrestrial Silk Roads.

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