Uzbekistan also shares a short border (less than 150 km or 93 mi) with Afghanistan to the south. It is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completely surrounded by landlocked countries), the other being Liechtenstein.In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, none of its rivers lead to the sea.What is now Uzbekistan was in ancient times part of the predominantly Iranian-speaking region of Transoxiana, with cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva growing rich from the Silk Road.The first settlers to this territory are known as Scythians.The area was conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power from Samarkand to Bukhara.The region was splitted into three states: Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Kokand, and Emirate of Bukhara.
Russian has widespread use; it is the most widely taught second language.
However, decades of questionable Soviet policies in pursuit of greater cotton production have resulted in a catastrophic scenario with the agricultural industry being the main contributor to the pollution and devastation of both air and water in the country.
Since the 1960s, the decade when the overuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area and decreased in volume threefold.
Uzbekistan ratified the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone treaty, and does not plan to build a nuclear power station.
Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, and longitudes 56° and 74° E.
Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton.