Kant, Kyrgyzstan

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The main street of Kant
The main street of Kant
Kant is located in Kyrgyzstan
Location in Kyrgyzstan
Coordinates: 42°53′N 74°51′E / 42.883°N 74.850°E / 42.883; 74.850
Country Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyzstan
Province Chuy Region
District Ysyk-Ata District
Established 1928
Elevation 743 m (2,437 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 21,589
Time zone UTC+6

Kant is a town in the Chuy Valley of northern Kyrgyzstan, some 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Bishkek. It is the administrative center of the Ysyk-Ata District (formerly Kant District). Kant was established in 1928.[2]

The Kyrgyz word for sugar is "kant", and the city received its name when a sugar plant was built there in the 1930s. (It is an often repeated myth that the town was named after the German philosopher Immanuel Kant).

Kant is an industrial and service center. Among notable local enterprises is the Abdysh Ata Brewery, whose products are well known throughout Kyrgyzstan. During the Soviet era, Kant and its surrounding area were home to a large number of ethnic Germans who had been forcibly relocated to Central Asia in 1941 from the Volga region when the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was abolished. Most left for Germany during the 1990s and after the demise of the Soviet Union when the factories where they had worked shut down. Several other nearby settlements, such as Luxemburg and Bergtal, still carry their German names, but retain only very small remnants of their Volga German and Russian Mennonite founders.

Air base[edit]

The Kant Air Base near the city is now host to the Russian Air Force's 5th Air Army's 999th Air Base positioned in Kyrgyzstan in response to the United States presence at Manas Air Base. The Kant airbase is also a structural subdivision of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

In February 2012, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev called for the Kant base to be closed, saying neither Russia nor Kyrgyzstan needs it. In May, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin of Russian Army declared his country had no plan to withdraw from the town of Kant, adding that the base’s organizational and personnel structure will remain as is.[3] Later in August, Russia obtained a prolongation period from Kyrgyzstan, allowing Russian military sites to remain for 15 more years after the expiration of the current contract in 2017.[4]


The population of Kant, according to the Population and Housing Census of 2009, was 21,589.[1]

Historical populations in Kant
Year Pop.
1970 19,210
1979 21,062
1989 24,014
1999 22,075
2009 21,589

Sister city[edit]

Coordinates: 42°53′N 74°51′E / 42.883°N 74.850°E / 42.883; 74.850


  1. ^ a b c "2009 population census of the Kyrgyz Republic: Chuy Region" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  2. ^ Чүй облусу:Энциклопедия [Encyclopedia of Chuy Oblast] (in Kyrgyz and Russian). Bishkek: Chief Editorial Board of Kyrgyz Encyclopedia. 1994. p. 718. ISBN 5-89750-083-5. 
  3. ^ "Russia: "No Plans" to Close Kyrgyz Airbase". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Russia Obtains Military Base Prolongation in Kyrgyzstan". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.