Kazakhstan is located in the northern part of Central Asia. Officially known as the Republic of Kazakhstan, this country borders China in the east, Russia in the north, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in the south, and part of Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea in the west. In total, the Republic of Kazakhstan covers 1,049,150 square miles, and is four times the size of Texas! Kazakhstan originated from a group of nomadic turkic tribes unified under one leader. Then, in the 13th century, they were dominated by the Mongol empire until the 18th century when they conquered by Russia. Kazakhstan would eventually gain its independence from Russia on December 16th, 1991 and establish the republic that it is today.