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Gambarov Rasul koptyug@sch130.nsc.ru
Scholl 289

Shusha

Gambarov Rasul
the pupil of 9th form
school 289-"Zangi"
The beatiful province of Shusha is 403 km from Baki, in the
Karabakh mountains.An upland resort, it is 1,400m above sea
level. Some 25.000 people used to inhabit its 289 square
kilometers.There was one town, Shusha, and 30 villages and
other residential areas in the province. On May 9, 1992
Shusha was taken over by Armenian armed units with the
support of Russian mercenaries.
The founder of Shusha was Panah Khan Javanshir. He was
born in Karabakh's Sarijali village. In his youth, he participated
in the wars waged by the Iranian Shah and in the conquest of
India.Panah Khan's great grandfather, Panah Khan the 3rd,and
his father, Ibrahim Khalil Khan,were influential figures in
Karabakh.
Having won nadir Shah's respect, Panah Khan served as
Eshikagasi (someone in charge of foreign affairs). Knowing
that he was going to become the victim of royal intrigues,
Panah Khan and 6 other people fled from the Palace to his h
ome country and had to live in hiding in Karabakh and Shaki
districts for 3 years.
In 1747, after the murder of Nadir Shah, Panah Khan
appeared in public and declared himself the Khan of
Karabakh.
In order to protect his Khanate from internal and external
attacs, Panah Khan built Bayat Fortress in what is now
Agjabedi province and then Shah Bulag tower near Agdam.
During these times Fatali Khan Afshar, Mammed Hasan Khan
Haja r and Karim Khan Zand were fighting for the Iranian
crown on the opposite bank of the Araz river.They considered
Panah Khan a strong rival. After careful consideration, Panah
Khan chose a stategically secure plase for a new fortress.This
spot had only one way to it and was therefore very hard to
approach.In 1750 the foundations for modern- day Shusha
were laid.In the beginning the town was called after its founder,
Panahabad, and even minted its own silver coins.Armenians
who currently regard Karabakh as their own land lived only in
a few villages then.They settled down in Karabakh during the
Russian Iranian war in the 1820s. Panahabad endured many
attacks and battles and witnessed bloodshed. Panah Khan
suppressed two attacks himself. Mammed Hasan Khan H ajar
was the first to lounch an attackon Panahabad.Alt hough he lay
siege to the town's fortress for amonth, he failed to occupy it
and had to retreat. Thesecond onslaught on Panahabad was
made in 1750 by Nadir Shah's cousin, Fatali Khan Afshar. He
also s ubject the town to a 6 month siege but couldn't conquer
it.
After Panah Khan died in 1763, Panahabad became known
as the Shisha fortress.
In the reign of Ibrahim Khan Iranian Aga Mahammad Shah
Hajar, launched a powerful attack in 1795 andbesieged the
Shisha fortress.However, the 33-day encirclement bore no
fruit. Aga Mahammad Shah did not forget this defeat. In 1797
he made his second attempt on the Shisha fortress.Even though
he did occupy the tower, he was not in luch. On the 8th night
in the tower, he was killed by a Shisha native,
safaralibey.Because of this murder, the relationship between
Ibrahim Khan and Iran Deteriorated. It's for this reason that
when Tzarist Russia sent troops to the Caucasus, the Khan of
Karabakh decided to submit to Russia's command. On May
14, 1805 the Karabakh Khanate signed an agreement with
Russia on the banks of the Kurakchay river.H owever, a little
later Ibrahim Khan felt that he had been deceived. He found
himself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, Russia
and Iran.In the spring of 1806, on the eve of the Iranian
military campaign, Ibrahim Khan asked the Russians for he lp,
but to no avail.So, the Khan collected a group of 20-309
security people and established a military camp in the Khan's
garden (presently stepanakert). Taking advantage of the
opportunity, the Armenian melik (head of a territorial unit in the
Karabakh Khanate) Jumshud Ibrahim Khan desided to take
revenge and convinced the military commander of Shisha,
Major D.T.Lisanevich that the Khan was conducting secret
nagotiations with Iran.On the night of June14, 1806, Major
Lisanevich and 300 Russian soldeirs l aunched an attack on
Ibrahim Khan's camp and killed him and his family.(17
people). The people of Karabakh vame out against Trarist
Russia.Ibrahim Khan's son, Mehdigulu Khan, inherited his
position. The Karabakh Khanate existed till his death in 1822.
Aft er the Russians occupied Azerbaijan, Shisha started to be
pronounced as Shusha and was memorized in this way.