Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan are separated from Tajikistan by the narrow Wakhan Corridor in the south.Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Persian-speaking Tajik ethnic group, who share language with Afghanistan and Iran. Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic. Mountains cover more than 90% of the republic.After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cotton, aluminium and uranium has contributed greatly to this steady improvement.