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Mongolia (Mongolian: ?????? ???) is the largest fully landlocked country typically classified as being a part of East Asia, though it is sometimes considered as being a part of Central Asia instead. It is bordered by Russia to the north and the People's Republic of China to the south. Its capital and largest city is Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia was the center of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century and was later ruled by China during the Manchu Qing Dynasty from the end of the seventeenth century until 1911, when an independent government was formed with Russian assistance. Following the end of the Cold War, and after the fall of communism in Mongolia in 1990, Mongolia adopted a new, democratic constitution which was ratified in 1992. This officially marked the birth of Mongolia as a democratic country, making it one of the world's youngest democracies.
At 1,564,116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the nineteenth largest country in the world. However, the country contains very little arable land as much of its area is covered by arid and unproductive steppes with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Approximately 30 percent of the country's 2.8 million people are nomadic or semi-nomadic. The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, and the majority of the state's citizens are of the Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs and Tuvans also live in the country, especially in the west. About one-third of the population lives in Ulaanbaatar.
At 604,209 mi² (1,565,000 km²), Mongolia is the world's nineteenth-largest country (after Iran). It is significantly larger than the next-largest country, Peru, and is nearly as large as the US state of Alaska.
The Mongolian heartland consists of relatively flat steppes. The southern portion of the country is taken up by the Gobi Desert, while the northern and western portions are mountainous. The highest point in Mongolia is Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) at 4,374 m (14,350 feet). Uvs Nuur Lake, shared with Tuva Republic in Russia, is a natural World Heritage Site.
Most of the country is hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter, with January averages dropping as low as -30ºC (-22ºF). The country is also subject to occasional harsh climatic conditions known as zud or dzud. Ulaanbaatar has the coldest average temperature of any national capital in the world.
Mongolia is high, cold, and windy. It has an extreme continental climate with long, cold winters and short summers, during which most of its annual precipitation falls. The country averages 257 cloudless days a year, and it is usually at the center of a region of high atmospheric pressure. Precipitation is highest in the north (average of 20 to 35 centimeters per year) and lowest in the south, which receives 10 to 20 centimeters annually. The extreme south is the Gobi, some regions of which receive no precipitation at all in most years. The name "Gobi" is a Mongol term for a desert, depression, salt marsh, or steppe, but which usually refers to a category of arid rangeland with insufficient vegetation to support marmots but with enough to support camels. Mongols distinguish Gobi from desert proper, although the distinction is not always apparent to outsiders unfamiliar with the Mongolian landscape. Gobi rangelands are fragile and are easily destroyed by overgrazing, which results in expansion of the true desert, a stony waste where not even Bactrian camels can survive.
Information provided by Wikipedia
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