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Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis Khan they
conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was
divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in
the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original
steppe homelands and later came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its
independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was
installed in 1924. The ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary
Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the
Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election.
Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to
power in 2000 and produced a coalition government in 2004. Khalkha
Mongol is the primary language; Turkic and Russian are also spoken.