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Other ethnic groups that were caught within the country as the borders in Central Asia were redrawn during the Soviet era include Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Kazakhs, Uyghur, and Bukharan and European Jews.
Beginning in the eighteenth century, many Russians migrated to the area as soldiers and laborers.
The hardships caused by the civil war and the economic transition have created a negative attitude toward sovereignty and a desire among many people to return to Soviet statehood.
Railroads do not link the northwest and the southwest, and only one highway connects Dushanbe in the southwest with Khujand in the northwest.
The lack of leadership from the Islamic hierarchy allowed fundamentalists to proliferate after independence, and the revival of ancient traditions in the Fergana Valley could lead to conflict with the neighboring countries.
However, tribal loyalties, Western cultural influences, and the growth of a free-market economy have militated against such movements.
In 1924, it was chosen to be the capital of the new autonomous republic because of its low population and central location. In 2000, the population was estimated to be 6,213,000.
In 1929, it was detached from Uzbekistan and given full status as a republic.
It is separated from the rest of the country by mountains from which the Syrdariya and Amu Darya rivers bring rich soil deposits.