Stepanakert


Stepanakert

Infobox City
official_name = Stepanakert
other_name = Khankendi
(Xankəndi)
native_name = Ստեփանակերտ
nickname =
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image_caption = The Nagorno-Karabkh Republic parliament building in Stepanakert.


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map_caption = Map of Azerbaijan showing the city of Stepanakert within Nagorno-Karabakh.
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subdivision_type = Province
subdivision_name = Stepanakert (City)
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Eduard Aghabekian
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population_as_of = 2005
population_footnotes = [ [http://census.stat-nkr.am/nkr/1-1.pdf Results of 2005 census of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] ]
population_note =
population_total = 49986
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latd=39 |latm=48 |lats=55 |latNS=N
longd=46 |longm=45 |longs=7 |longEW=E
elevation_m=813 |elevation_ft=2670
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Stepanakert (Armenian: Ստեփանակերտ; known as "Xankəndi" in Azerbaijan; also rendered as Khankendy) is the capital city of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a "de facto" independent republic which is recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. [" [http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/or/13508.htm 1993 UN Security Council Resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh] ". US State Department, accessed February 1, 2007 ] The city comprises about 50,000 Armenians. The entire Azerbaijani population fled the city during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.

History

According to medieval Armenian sources, the settlement was first mentioned as Vararakn (Վարարակն, meaning “rapid creek,” in Armenian) which it remained until it was renamed Khankendi in 1847.hy icon Mkrtchyan S. "Stepanakert" (Ստեփանակերտ). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia, vol. XI, Yerevan, Armenian SSR 1985 p. 124] Azerbaijani sources generally state that the founding of the town is traced to the late 18th century by the Azerbaijani Karabakh khan, and was thus called Khankendi (Khan's village in Azerbaijani).

The modern city was founded in 1917 after the October revolution in place of a village that was called Khankendi (Khan's village) in Azerbaijan. In 1923 it was renamed to Stepanakert, to honor Stepan Shahumyan, an Armenian communist leader from Baku. During the Soviet era, Stepanakert became an important economic center and by the mid-1980s, there were 19 production facilities in the city.

After Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, it was renamed by the Azerbaijani government back to Khankendi as part of a campaign against Communism and of .]

During the war, the city suffered immense damage from Azeri bombardment, especially in early 1992 when the Azeris used the town of Shusha as an artillery firebase to fire GRAD missiles against it. So destructive was the damage caused by the incessant bombardment, that an April 1992 report by "Time Magazine" noted that "scarcely a single building [had] escaped damage in Stepanakert." The Azeri military staged several ground attacks against the city however they were repulsed each time. It was not until May 9, 1992, with the capture of Shusha, that the ground bombardment ceased. The city would, however, continue to suffer aerial bombardment for the remainder of the war.

There has been an unofficial cease-fire observed since 1994.

Economy

Prior to the war, Stepanakert's economy revolved mostly around food processing, silk weaving, and winemaking. After the war, the city's economy was greatly damaged, but in recent years, largely due to the investments of the Armenian diaspora, economic activity has picked up in Stepanakert.

Buildings and structures

Religious

St. James Armenian Church is operating in Stepanakert [ [of http://www.armtown.com/news/en/aza/20070510/2029/ ST JAMES CHURCH WAS OPENED IN STEPANAKERT, Armtown, 2007] ] . During the decades there were no traditional churches in Stepanakert, although most of the population of the city were Christians. The believers attended the church that is in the building of the House of Culture. There is also one ancient church in the city that was built in the 18th century, but it is not operating. On September 15, 2006 the foundation stones of St. Jacob Church in Stepanakert were laid. Armenian benefactor Vache Yepremian from Los Angeles is sponsoring the construction of the church. Its construction will probably last for two to three years.

Stepanakert is the home of the Artsakh State Museum.

Ethnic groups

According to national composition:
* Armenians: 39,840 (99.6%)
* Other nations: 160 (0.4%)

Sister cities

On September 25, 2005, the city of Montebello, California, inaugurated Stepanakert as a sister city. This prompted a complaint by the ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States, Hafiz Pashayev, who sent a letter to California leaders, stating that the decision jeopardized peace talks between his country and Armenia.Wright, Pam. [http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ Montebello's newest Sister City program has come under fire from an ambassador for the Republic of Azerbaijan] . Whittier Daily News. November 19, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2007.] The letter was sent to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who deferred the letter to Montebello mayor Bill Molinari since it concerned a local, not a state, issue.

Molinari responded to Pashayev that the city would go ahead with its plans to inaugurate Stepanakert under the sister city program.

Stepanakert's relationship with Montebello is concentrated in revitalizing the capital's economic infrastructure and to build cultural and educational ties as well as enhance trade and health care between the two cities. Azerbaijan has charged this as a contradictory foreign policy of the United States in supporting the NKR government and Armenian "aggression" against Azerbaijan. [Wire report to the BBC News. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/ Azeri pressure group appeals to US envoy over twinning reports] . BBC News in "BBC Monitoring Central Asia". November 24, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2007.]

* 2005 flagicon|USA Montebello, California, United States.

References

External links

* [http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Stepanakert Stepanakert] Armeniapedia atricle
* [http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=257745&apc_state=henicrs2005 Karabakh’s Election Conundrum] November 2005 article about elections for seats in the Milli Mejlis (Azerbaijani parliament) for Azeri refugees

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Look at other dictionaries:

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