However, since 2015 there has been a slight increase in Islamist activity, with small organisations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan declaring allegiance to ISIL and contributing fighters abroad,  although the terror threat in Uzbekistan itself remains low.  (See Terrorism in Uzbekistan).  The Jewish community in the Uzbek lands flourished for centuries, with occasional hardships during the reigns of certain rulers.
^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed. ). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.. This source gives the British pronunciation as, rather than found in CEPD. It also does not list the variant in American English.
 The population has not been officially counted in over 30 years. In November 2020, the first census was cancelled due to concerns about coronavirus and the sheer size of the task. It now has been postponed to 2023.  Religion Uzbekistan is a secular country and Article 61 of its constitution states that religious organizations and associations shall be separated from the state and equal before law. The state shall not interfere in the activity of religious associations.  Islam is the dominant religion in Uzbekistan, although Soviet power (1924–1991) discouraged the expression of religious belief, and it was repressed during its existence as a Soviet Republic. The CIA Factbook estimate that Muslims constitute 88% of the population, while 9% of the population follow Russian Orthodox Christianity, 3% other religions and non-religious.  While a 2020 Pew Research Center projection stated that Uzbekistan's population is 97.
 The Amnesty International report on the country for 2017–2018 found some remnant repressive measures and lack of rule of law in eradicating modern slavery.  In February 2020, the United Nations announced that Uzbekistan made "major progress" on stamping out forced labour in its cotton harvest as 94% of pickers worked voluntarily.  Administrative divisions Uzbekistan is divided into twelve regions (viloyatlar, singular viloyat, compound noun viloyati e. g., Toshkent viloyati, Samarqand viloyati, etc. ), one autonomous republic (respublika, compound noun respublikasi e. g.
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 In addition, some officials claim that "an information war on Uzbekistan has been declared" and the human rights violations in Andijan are invented by the enemies of Uzbekistan as a convenient pretext for intervention in the country's internal affairs.  Male homosexuality is illegal in Uzbekistan.  Punishment ranges from a fine to 3 years in prison.  There are an estimated 1. 2 million modern slaves in Uzbekistan,  most work in the cotton industry. The government allegedly forces state employees to pick cotton in the autumn months.  World Bank loans have been connected to projects that use child labour and forced labour practices in the cotton industry.  Recent developments Islam Karimov died in 2016 and his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev is considered by most to be pursuing a less autocratic path by increasing co-operation with human rights NGOs,  scheduling Soviet-style exit visas to be abolished in 2019,  and reducing sentences for certain misdemeanor offences.
The local Khwarazmian dynasty was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, leading to a dominance by Turkic peoples. Timur (Tamerlane) who in the 14th century established the Timurid Empire was from Shahrisabz and with his capital in Samarkand, which became a centre of science under the rule of Ulugh Beg, giving birth to the Timurid Renaissance. The territories of the Timurid dynasty were conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power to Bukhara. The region was split into three states: the Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Kokand, and Emirate of Bukhara. Conquests by Emperor Babur towards the east led to the foundation of the Mughal Empire in India. All of Central Asia was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, with Tashkent becoming the political center of Russian Turkestan.
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^ https://www. hrw. org/news/2021/10/22/can-governments-stop-being-authoritarian ^ "Population, total - Uzbekistan". data. worldbank. org. World Bank. Retrieved 18 February 2020. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". IMF. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 16 November 2019. ^ "Income Gini coefficient | Human Development Reports". hdr. undp. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2017. ^ "GINI index – Uzbekistan". MECOMeter – Macro Economy Meter. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
The conflict of Islamic tradition with various agendas of reform or secularisation throughout the 20th century has left a wide variety of Islamic practices in Central Asia.  The end of Soviet control in Uzbekistan in 1991 did not bring an immediate upsurge of religion-associated fundamentalism, as many had predicted, but rather a gradual re-acquaintance with the precepts of the Islamic faith and a gradual resurgence of Islam in the country.
While non-governmental human rights organisations have defined Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights",  significant reforms under Uzbekistan's second president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, have been made following the death of the first president, Islam Karimov. Owing to these reforms, relations with the neighbouring countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan have drastically improved.  A United Nations report of 2020 found much progress toward achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.  The Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution.
Uzbekistan has encountered severe budget shortfalls in its education program. The education law of 1992 began the process of theoretical reform, but the physical base has deteriorated and curriculum revision has been slow. Corruption within the education system is rampant, with students from wealthier families routinely bribing teachers and school executives to achieve high grades without attending school, or undertaking official examinations.
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