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Khankendi is subordinated city in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Administratively its coverage area includes the city of Khankendi and Karkijahan settlement. The population is 53,100 (2008). Khankendi included in administrative area of Askeran region.
After the establishment of Soviet power on July 7, 1923 the decree "On creation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast" was issued. At that Decree Khankendi was announced as centre of Khankendi region. Later the city was named after Stepan Shaumyan "Stepanakert".
Since 1991, by the decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan the historical injustice was corrected and the former name of the city "Khankendi" was restored.
Khankendi is characterized by the fact that compared to most other Azeri cities it is young. According to archive documents the city was founded at the end of the XVIII century, at that time of Karabakh khanate, one of the independent Azerbaijani khanates, by the heads of states as the settlement was for the rest of khans. To create maximum conditions for activity of khans the place was established at 10th km of the khanate, the capital of the khanate Panahabad (now of Shusha), comparatively at the foot of the mountain. In this case, its vicinity to other important cities and villages of the khanate, Aghdam, Khojaly, Malıbayli, Karkijahan and others was taken as the key factor. So, in other settlements, such as new settlements, only the local population, Azerbaijanis lived. The first years, only khan’s family and the relatives lived at the new residential areas it was known among people as “the village of Khan" (Khan kendi). After a short time the settlement got the name of Khankendi.
Occupation of Karabakh as in all regions of Russia has significant influence on the fate of the Khankendi. The previous life-style was destroyed. Although in 1813 not a single Armenian and Russian family of lived in Khankendi, and already in 1847 more than 80 Armenian, 52 Russian families lived there and homes and Armenian Church was there. Immediately after the Russian occupation headquarters and barracks of Cavalry division of the imperial army in the Caucasus were deployed. Though Armenian and Russian officers called living sites as "headquarters", in 1847 at maps of Tsarist Russia under the name of Khankendi the district was official included. After the occupation of the city of Khankendi by Tsarist Russia as a rule the Armenians from Iran were settled in growing Khankendi, and due to their loyalty to Empire they were employed at state institutions and military units. In 1900 more than 3 thousand people lived in Khankendi, eventwo class school was functioning, too. As a result of the purposefully conducted ethnic policy at the beginning of the last century the Armenian and Russian population was increased in Khankendi. However, a large number of representatives of khan kin, Azerbaijani intellectuals, musicians and artists lived in the city. In spite of purposeful policy of isolation they were in capacity to dictate their will and the power had been forced to consider their will.
During 1918-1920 at result of the policy of the government of the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the determination of the Azerbaijani army the claims of Armenian nationalists for Nagorno-Karabakh and Khankendi could be overcome.
According to the results of population census organized after the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Soviet Empire, already in September 1988 Armenians forced Azerbaijanis living in the city to leave Khankendi. In December 26, 1991, Khankendi was completely occupied and presently is controlled by Armenia. It should be noted that the current President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, former President Robert Kocharian and nationalist inciter of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict writer Zori Balayan were citizens of Azerbaijan and residents of Khankendi.

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