Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the country's capital and largest city. It is an. oasis city on the Chirchik River, situated between the Kyzyl Kum desert and an outlying range of the Tien Shan mountains.

Tashkent is Uzbekistan's main manufacturing center. Textiles, clothing, machinery, chemicals, and processed foods are among its many products. Abundant power is produced at nearby hydroelectric installations. Tashkent is a major railway junction and an important air terminal. The city also has a subway. Tashkent is the seat of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences and has many institutions of higher learning, including the Tashkent State University.

Possibly dating from the second century B.C., Tashkent emerged in the seventh century A.D. as a trading center on a route to China. For some 11 centuries it was ruled successively by Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and Uzbeks. Russia captured the city in 1865, and it became the administrative center of Russian Turkestan. After the Russian Revolution, Tashkent was made the capital of the Turkestan Autonomous Republic (1918 to 1924). In 1930 it replaced Samarkand as the capital of the Uzbek S.S.R. Earthquakes severely damaged the city in 1965 and again in 1966. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tashkent became the capital of an independent Uzbekistan.

Population: 2,073,000.