City (pop., 2004 est.: 510,533), capital of Kazakhstan. Situated on the banks of the Ishim River in north-central Kazakhstan, it was founded in 1824 as a Russian military outpost. The city's importance was enhanced by its location at the junction of the Trans-Kazakhstan and South Siberian railways. It is in the centre of a mineral-rich steppe region. In 1994 the Kazakh government began to transfer the national capital from Almaty to Astana, changing the city's name in 1998.
Variants of ASTANA
Astana formerly (1992–98) Aqmola or Akmola or(1961–92) Tselinograd