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Land

Sandwiched between China, Russia and Europe, the five countries usually classed as Central Asia form something of a geographical crossroads.

Mountains tower to the south and east, dominating Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Kazakhstan's vast grasslands stretch north towards Siberia and, to the south, give way to the desert that covers 80% of Turkmenistan.

Landlocked and arid with hot summers and harsh, icy winters, much of central Asia is remote, inhospitable and sparsely populated.

Map showing major biomes in central Asian region

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