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Azerbaijan Khanates in the last quarter of the 18th century

Differing from Norhtern Azerbaijan, the struggle for the throne in Iran ended with the establishment of centralized state. Agha Muhammed Shah Qajar came to the throne here in 1781 and moved the capital to Tehran in 1785. Although Shah Qajar was Turk by origin and although he had wide relations with Turkish tribes, the political centre of his state was Iranian lands and he struggled for the creation of Iranian state.

There existed Karadagh, Meshkin, Ardebil, Tabriz, Maragha, Khoy and Urmia khanates in Southern Azerbaijan in the 80s of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 90s of the 18th century Agha  Muhammed khan began the conquest of Southern Azerbaijan and subordinated all Southern khanates of Azerbaijan. After that Agha Muhammed khan considered that the conquest of Southern khanates was over, he turned his view to the North.

The confirmation of the power of Agha Muhammed khan in Iran disturbed tsar Russia and she considered that new ruler of Iran would be an obstacle in front of the plans of conquest of Azerbaijan lands. Administrative circle of Russia attentively observed the events in Iran, since these events deeply influenced to the interest of Russia. Russian- Turkish war of 1787-1791, made Russia conduct careful policy toward Iran, but concluding suitable peace treaty for Russia, which called Yassi treaty (1791) opened her way. Political line of the empire in the Caucasus acquired more exact points. General Qudovich, who commanded Russian troops in the Caucasus got rescript in 1792 and in 1793, from Ekaterine II, where the tsaritsa ordered to provide the accception of Russian patronomy by khanates, which were located in suitable position for the Russia volunterily or obligatory. Russian palace, which knew about the expansive plans of Agha Muhammed khan wanted to promote him and to enter its troops to Northern Azerbaijan. Russia had not already hidden his expansive plans about pre-Caspian regions and Northern Azerbaijan and in 1793, there was openly announced by Russia that Russian fliet, located in the Caspian sea got an order to begin military action if the circumstances demanded this.

Iran khan, who began the campaign decided to subordinate firstly influencive khans of Norhtern Azerbaijan. In the first half of 1795, Agha Muhammed khan sent his cavalry-men to Azerbaijan rulers, as well as Quba, Baku, Shamakha and Sheki khans for three times and demanded subordination and giving tribute, otherwise threatened them with destruction and death. North-Azerbaijan’s governors, who obtained the independence with blood, did not want to loose it, although their power was weakened at the result of strife. That is why they searched way out of this situation. Iravan, Lenkoran and Karabakh rulers gave negative answer to the envoys of Agha Muhammed khan and began to the preparation of defence. But there were several khans, who wanted to shape support and defence by Agha Muhammed khan’s vehicle. For example, the ruler of Ganja-Javad khan decided to accept the protectorate of Qajar because of the danger of Ibrahimkhalil khan from Karabakh and Georgian tsar-Irakly II, who came together by concluding alliance agreement. Another reason was that Javad khan was also Qajar by origin. In the case of success of Agha Muhammed khan, Javad khan hoped to obtain the lands of Karabakh and the part of Eastern Georgia by his aid, as well as avoid from the pressure of two powerful neighbourhood rulers.

Sheikhali khan Qubali, who was promised the title of naib of whole Shirvan by Qajar and Husseingulu khan from Baku, whose pro- Iranian orientation was explained by frightening to loose his independence and properties, received Agha Muhammed khan’s envoys with great respect and gave them valuable presents.

Sheki and Shamakha khans did not want to accept the demands of Agha Muhammed khan as Baku khan at first, but later Sheki khan changed his position. Shamakha, Karabakh and Talish khans decisively refused to obey him, even Karabakh and Iravan khans appealed to the Sultan of Ottoman empire for aid. In his letter to the palace of Sultan Selim III, Ibrahimkhalil khan warned him that “there appeared Agha Muhammed khan from Kizilbashes, captured Irag lands, which were included to Iranian properties and the cities of Persia. His current wish was to enter Azerbaijan, crossing the river of Araz, intervene first of all, to my properties, then the lands of Iravan khan-Muhammed khan and to Georgia, so it realizes his aim. From this moment, advice belongs to our Highness Master. Our request was to help us, defend us and not to deprive us from your mercy”. Khan sent this letter with Abdulla Chelebi, whom he ordered to give the Sultan wide information about the current circumstances.

As the situation in the Ottoman Empire was hard the Sultan could not present the waited aid to khans. Simultaneously, Agha Muhammed khan conducted diplomatic activity-he decided to make close relationship with Ottomans and sent to their palace his envoys. Sultan proclaimed that in the case of conquest of Georgia by Agha Muhammed khan, he would recognize it as the property of Iranian Shah; and Ibrahimkhalil khan was informed that there existed peace between these two states and if Agha Muhammed khan did not violate this peace, Ottoman state would not violate it either.

Agha Muhammed khan, who understood the political essence of Karabakh khanate did not stop the attempts of subordination of Ibrahimkhalil khan by diplomatic way: he sent to the khan dress, decorated with jewelry, sabre and horse with gold saddle and called him to obey, but Ibrahimkhalil khan refused to implement his demands.

So, Qajar, who got a negative answer from Ibrahimkhalil khan, directed several thousand soldiers to the side of Karabakh and Iravan. United forces of Karabakh khanate and Georgia near Askeran destroyed this detachment. Talish khanate also confronted with attack, but these campaign possessed intelligence character.

In the summer of 1795, more than 80 thousanth army of Qajar collected in the captured Ardebil. The army was divided into three parts: the first army had to direct to Daghestan passing through Mughan and Shirvan; the second army, commanded by Agha Muhammed khan’s brother-Aliqulu khan should conquer Iravan khanate and the third army ought to enter Karabakh, capture it and then attack to Georgia. The third army was led by Agha Muhammed khan himself, which proved that the third direction possessed much more strategic essence. Due to prevent the moving of Qajar, Karabakh khan ordered to destruct the Khudaferin bridge. By the order of Qajar this bridge was restorated, his troops crossed Araz, entered to the lands of Karabakh and directed to Shusha castle. The second army, which was able to conquer Iravan and the first army, which was directing to Daghestan joined him here. So, all forces of Agha Muhammed khan were directed to the conquest of Karabakh. The goal was to conquer Karabakh quickly and to move to Georgia.

Ibrahimkhalil khan, who learnt about the approach of Qajar’s troops, strictly prepared to the defence and settled in Shusha castle. At the end of 1795, Shusha was completely surrounded. The defenders of the castle resisted to the enemy bravely. But the population of Shusha did not limit only with defence, they often made attacks to the army of Qajar, brought the equipment and damanged to the troops of the enemy by dividing into several detachments. Mirza Camal Javanshir wrote: “Pedestrian and cavalry troops of Karabakh attacked to the Kizilbash troops with small detachments in forests, on the ways and passages every day took their horses, asses and camels, plundered the caravans, which brought grain and equipment to the camp”. According to some documents, there were about 15 thousand national detachment in Shusha castle at that time, in the defence of the castle women took part bravely along with their husbands and brothers. The enemy could not break the resistance of the defenders of castle.

The defence of Shusha castle lasted 33 days. Historian Mirza Adigozelbey wrote these words, which was expressed by Agha Muhammed khan in his work, called “Karabakhname”: “It is better to return from the half of the way, than to loose completely. Our surviving will be, if we turn our horses from these unfortune lands in time, otherwise, all our troops and animals will die soon in this deep, bloody sea and none of them could survive and come back safe and sound”.

During the besiege of Shusha the number of Agha Muhammed khan’s troop essentially decreased, most part of the artillery spoiled, military mood fall and escape from army increased. Taking into account all of these issues, as well as great resistance of Karabakh population, Qajar receded from Shusha and directed to Georgia in the August of 1795. On this way Javad khan Ganjali and Muhammedhasan khan Shekili jointed to him with their military troops.

In these strained circumstances Russia rejected to give military aid to Irakly II (although they concluded Georgiyevsk tractate and it was one of its conditions), who asked from Qudovich 3 thousand men from military troops of Russia in order to depend from Agha Muhammed khan Qajar in May of 1795. In September 12 of 1795, the city of Tiflis was completely captured and destroyed by Iranian troops, more than 20 thousand people died.

After 8 days’ staying in Tiflis, Agha Muhammed khan, who learnt about the uprising in Khorasan against him, led by Nadir Shah’s grandson-Shahrukh Mirza and who frightened from the danger of Russian attack to his troops had to recede to Ganja, then at the end of autumn he directed to Mughan for wintering here. Agha Muhammed khan did not spent his time and wanted to continue the subordination of Norhtern khanates, taking into account that from the besiege of Shusha castle he receded without fame. Confrontation among khans shaped suitable condition for him.

From Mughan Qajar sent troops, commanded by Suleiman khan for the conquest of Shusha. There began the conquest of Shamakha khanate, in which Muhammedhasan khan from Sheki played an important role and Agha Muhammed khan sent his troops to Shamakha along with Iranian army. Mustafa khan Shirvanli directed to Fitdagh and stayed here till the Feburary of 1796. United troops of Agha Muhammed khan and Muhammedhasan khan entered to New Shamakha and destroyed it.

During the besiege of Mustafa khan, Muhammedhasan khan got an information that his brother Selim proclaimed himself the khan in Sheki-utilizing from the absence of Muhammedhasan khan, Selim-bey captured Sheki by the aid of Carians and avarians. Muhammedhasan khan received extra troops from Agha Muhammed khan and hurried up to his khanate. After Muhammedhasan khan’s return, Selim-bey had hidden in the castle of “Gelersen-gorersen”, but after that he received support of Car and Avar peoples Selim-bey began the fought near villages. Goynyuk defeated Muhammedhasan khan. After this event  Muhammedhasan khan appealed to Agha Muhammed khan again, but the last one was very angry to him, because in this battle there were killed many representatives of Iranian contingent. Simultaneouly, Agha Muhammed khan appointed his general-Develi Mustafa khan the governor of Shirvan during the absence of Sheki khan. By the order of his senior, Iranian governor made blind Sheki khan and sent him to Tabriz. So, the conquest of Sheki and Shirvan was not realized and only Ganja and Quba khanates recognized Agha Muhammed khan’s authority.

Russia, who was engaged with Poland issue directed its forces to the campaign only after the successful division of Poland. According to the order of Ekaterine II, General Qudovich sent Commander Sirokhnev to Georgia with two pedestrian detachments at the end of November of 1795, in order to prevent future attacks of Iranian troops.

At the beginning of 1796, the united forces of Georgians and Russians encircled Ganja. Due to save the city from great destruction, Javad khan had to pay big amount of tribute. At the end of 1795, 3 pedestrian detachments, the detachments of Kazakhs, 500 kalmiks directed from Kizlyar to Derbent under the command of Savelyov. Only after this, the order of Ekaterine II about the preparation to the campaign to Northern Azerbaijan, which should begun in the spring of 1796, reached to general I. Qudovich. The head-commander of troops was appointed general Valery Zubov. Ekaterine II gave great essence to V.Zubov’s campaign. With this goal, she made “Manifest”, as her ancestor-Petr I. This document looked like to the “Manifest” of 1722 with its context.

It is important to mention that the sent of troops stage-by-stage was an tactics by the side of Russia and persued an aim to create view about her aid to Daghestan and Azerbaijan owners in their resistance against Agha Muhammed khan. That is why it was not casual that general Qudovich ordered general-majore Savelyev to collect all Daghestanian owners with their troops in order to organize defence for future expeditions and for the conquest of Derbent.

In October of 1795 general Qudovich sent letter to Quba khan- Sheikhali and ordered him to enter to the common tie with Daghestan owners, who asked an aid from Russia and were ready to rise soon. It was interesting that Sheykhali khan rejected from the aid of Russian troops. Sheikhali khan, who wanted to preserve the independence of his actions, avoided from the repproachment with Russians. Even in Feburary of 1796, when general Savelyev entered to the lands of Usmi of Karakaytag with his troops, Sheikhali khan went from Quba to Derbent, settled here and did not want to meet with majore Akhverdov, who came here to tell about the conditions of comman defence with Daghestan owners. In this situation, Baku khan Husseingulu passed to the side of Sheikhali khan and sent his military aid to Derbent. Obviously, the activity of Sheikhali khan made angry and disagreed Russian commanding. As we know, the campaign of Zubov pursued future plans of Russian tsarism about the realization not only political, but also trade-economic duties. It was interesting that there was offered to appeal to religious factor in the instruction to V.Zubov-to utilize from the interests of Christian population of the region, especially from the meliks of Karabakh. We should also mention that the “Manifest” of Ekaterine II was printed in Armenian language and it was proved by archive documents. This issue, which possessed special place in the cabinet of Ekaterine II was one of the causes, which Azerbaijan khans, especially, Ibrahimkhalil khan could not entrust Russia. This problem contributed to the creation of coalition by several khans and demonstration of resistance to Russian troops in the period of V.  Zubov’s campaign.

In April of 1796, 30 thousandth Russian troops, commanded by general V.Zubov approached to Derbent. Military-marine forces, located in the Caspian Sea and Russian troops, located in Georgia were given to his instruction too. Zubov suggested Sheikhali khan to surrender, but the last one refused and the population of Derbent showed “great resistance” to Russian troops. But military technique and priority in the number of soldiers helped to Russia and due to prevent the murder of citizens, Sheikhali khan obliged to open the gates of Derbent, which were shooted by the weapons of the enemy. The keys of gates were given to Zubov by 120 years old men and this man gave these keys to Petr I 74 years ago. After the conquest of Derbent, general Zubov began to clarify the reasons of the great resistance of Derbent people against Russian troops. He learnt that Sheikhali khan, who obliged to open the gates of Derbent waited for an aid from Agha Muhammed khan and for many times appealed to the ruler of Iran, who stayed in Mughan at that time and who “possessed more than 30 thousand cavalry and pedestrian troops here”.

Shekhali khan was brought in front of V.Zubov together with his suite. Zubov promised to forgive him from the name of Ekaterine II.

Fatali khan’s daughter, PeriJahan khanum was appointed the governor of Derbent and the naib of the city became Nadir khan, whose ancestor participated in the governance of Derbent during Petr I’s reign.

Russian troops, which stayed in Derbent for two weeks, directed to Baku. On June 6, Quba was captured and the way to Baku, Shamakha and Salyan opened. The governor of Baku, Husseingulu khan saw that the resistance was meanless and on June 13, he gave the keys of the city to Zubov. Russian troops directed from Baku to Shamakha, where Mustafa khan did not want to obey and escaped to the mountains.

Sheikhali khan utilized from this situation, escaped and continued the struggle.

When Russian troops directed to the side of Shamakha khanate, the envoy of Sheki khanate came to Russian camp and warned Zubov that Selim khan was ready to “swear allegiance to Russia”. At the end of June, the khan signed barrister letter. After a while Mustafa khan from Shamakha also had to sign barrister list. Soon, the embassy from Karabakh khanate led by Vaqif came to the camp of Zubov and proclaimed its devotion to the highness Ekaterine II. Ekaterine II sent him walking-stick, decorated with jewelry. The khans of Ganja, Iravan, Nakhichevan and Khoy, who understood that the resistance was meanless also recognized the authority of Russian empire.

In October of 1796, Zubov moved the residence of Russian troops to New Shamakha. Zubov, who strengthened in the North of Azerbaijan, began to implement some political-economic measures. He wanted to substitute Mustafa khan from Shamakha and dethroned Sheikhali khan with devoted Russian men. On November 2, Qasim khan was appointed the Shamakha khan and Fatali khan’s son from the daughter of Ilisu Sultan-Hasan bey was appointed the Quba khan. Taking into account the small age of Hasan khan, the reign in the khanate was given to local yuzbashi.

By the coming of winter Russian troops moved to Mughan.

Zubov prepared project about the strengthening of the positions of Russian troops and providing economic conquer of the area. According to this project there should be built new city near Javad , which would be called by the name of Ekaterine II and there was planned to settle 2 thousand Russian soldiers, who were married to Georgian and Armenian girls here. There was given great essence to the enlargement of Baku port, which should shape suitable conditions for the trade with all countries of Middle East; Due to realize this project Russian government would sent money and masters. All above-mentioned measures would be realized since 1797. But sudden death of Ekaterine II on November 6 of 1796 prevented the realization of such plans of Russian tsarina till the quarter century.

Pavel I, who came to Russian throne and who planned to direct his major forces against France, gave an order to withdraw Russian troops from South Caucasus. This withdrawal began from the December and lasted till the spring of 1797. General V.Zubov retired and his post was given to general Qudovich.

The withdrawal of Russian troops from Azerbaijan gave freedom to the actions of Agha Muhammed khan Qajar, who proclaimed himself the Shah of Iran in 1796. After the neutralization of Khorasan uprising and moving of Russian troops to Azerbaijan Qajar implemented several steps: in one side Gilan and Mazandaran were strengthened, in the other side there was attempted to fulfill military actions in the territory of Karabakh khanate. Due to conquer Shusha, there was sent military detachment in August of 1796, but this detachment was destroyed by Ibrahimkhalil khan. Qajar traced the resistance of Azerbaijan khans against Zubov and along with this, he prepared for the campaign to the Northern Azerbaijan.

After that Russian troops left the borders of Azerbbaijan, Qajar began to realize his plans and entered to Northern Azerbaijan with big troops. The circumstances in the Azerbaijan khanates were hard in thta period, which were the result of the first campaign of Qajar, as well as the expansive policy of Russian troops, commanded by Zubov. The population was plundered, they abondened their homes and economic fall was felt everywhere.

Agha Muhammed Shah began the realization of his expansive policy by the destruction of resisting khanates. First of all he defeated Nakhichevan and then Khoy khans. Great army, commanded by agha Muhammed khan directed to Talish khanate. Mir-Mustafa khan, who learnt about this, prepared settlement in the island of Sari and brought 200 families here, other part of population escaped to various areas of Lenkoran and other lands. During the new invasion there was planned the immigration of the population from Shamakha, Sheki and other areas to Iran. The population of Nakhichevan was also migrated and the khan was killed.

When Agha Muhammed Shah reached to Ardebil he stayed here in order to receive the envoys of khanates; he also sent one of his commanders-Suleiman khan to Lenkoran, who captured the empty city.

As in the first campaign, major forces, led personally by Agha Muhammed Shah prepared to intervene to Azerbaijan through  Karabakh khanate. The choice of this road by Agha Muhammed Shah was not casual. In 1795, he could not conquer the Shusha castle and that is why, he wanted to revenge Ibrahimkhalil khan for this.

When Agha Muhammed Shah was in Ardebil, he was informed that Ibrahimkhalil khan wanted to organize defence not only in Shusha castle, but also in its around. The Khudaferin bridge was destroyed by khan’s order. That is why, Shah did not stay in Ardebil and with 12000 cavalry detachment directed to the side of Karabakh. Iranian troops hardly could cross the Araz river. At the result of severe weather condition for 3 years and because of the first invasion of Agha Muhammed Shah in 1795, there lasted starvation in Karabakh. Ibrahimkhalil khan hardly organized defence of Shusha castle in this difficult circumstance. When Iranian troops approached to Shusha in 1797, Agha Muhammed Shah ordered to his artillery to shoot to the same point of castle, till there would be shaped breach. Ibrahimkhalil khan designed wise plan for the destruction of Shah’s artillery. Despite of permanent shoots of the enemy, only small numbered, but mobile and quick cavalry of Shusha garrison, led personally by Ibrahimkhalil khan went out of the castle and directed against the artillery of the enemy. There took place bloody battle. Although Karabakh soldiers encountered with the great numbered troop of the enemy and despite of big losts they could neutralize the artillery (topkhana) of Iran by the vehicle of brave actions. As the way to castle was broken by the pedestrian detachment of the enemy and the gates of the castle were closed, Ibrahimkhalil khan had to pass through the besiege with his small numbered troop and directed to Daghestan, to his relative-Avarian Umma khan. Agha Muhammed khan sent a detachment by his trace, which reached to him in the passage across the Kur, but the detachment could not capture Ibrahimkhalil khan.

Agha Muhammed Shah, who learnt about it sent letter to the defenders of Shusha. There was written that Ibrahimkhalil khan escaped, put the castle without defence, the resistance was meanless and that is why, he offered them to surrender. At this time there shaped two groups in Shusha-one of them was pro-Iranian group, which called Ibrahimkhalil khan coward, offered to surrender and to hand out the castle to the enemy; another group, which considered that Ibrahimkhalil khan wanted to gather troops in Daghestan in order to liberate Shusha, demanded to continue the resistance. So finally, there was decided to sent an old man-Haji Babek to the camp of Agha Muhammed Shah with the suggestion that Shusha people would open the gates of the castle, if Shah forgave them because of their resistance. Shah received Haji Babek and sent a message to the people of Shusha from him, in which he promised them that Shah would not touch them, if the population surrendered voluntarily, but “if I confront with resistance, – wrote Agha Muhammed Shah – then after the conquer of the castle all men would be shooted, the women would be given to sarbazes and the city would be destroyed as Kirman and Tiflis”. Shah even sweared in Koran that he would not recede from his promise. After two days of coming back of their embassy led by Haji Babek, the population of Shusha believed to Shah’s promise and opened the gates of the castle.

But when Agha Muhammed Shah entered to the city, he remembered his lack during the previous 33 days of besiege of castle and ordered to his soldiers to begin devastation of the city. Iranian soldiers made the citizens tell them, where they had hidden the precious items. Agha Muhammed khan mocked at civil population, found them guilty in the resistance in 1795 and in the sympathy and devotion to Ibrahimkhalil khan. Most part of the population of the city was killed and their homes were destroyed.

Agha Muhammed Shah, who settled in Shusha, demanded from the khans of Northern Azerbaijan either to come to his camp or to send tribute. But khans did not respond to the first message of the Shah. Baku khan-Husseingulu khan did not go to Shusha even after two “invitations”. Then Agha Muhammed Shah sent his commander with troops, who “took him by force and brought to his sovereign”. The troops of Agha Muhammed Shah settled in the environs of the city. Shah began to punishments-thousand people were executed or were sent to prisons. Javad khan from Ganja came to the camp of the Shah, but Husseingulu khan was brought there by Iranian soldiers. Agha Muhammed Shah threatened them with death, since they did not resist to Russian troops. Neverthless, Shah could not reign in Shusha for a long time, where he stayed at home of Muhammedhasan agha- Ibrahimkhalil khan’s son and Agha Muhammed Shah appointed his nephew Muhammed bey the governor of Karabakh. Agha Muhammed Shah could not conquer Azerbaijan at this time – at the result of conspirancy, organized by Karabakh beys and Muhammed bey the Shah was killed on July 4. Javad khan Ganjali and Husseingulu khan Bakili returned to their properties.

Iranian troops,   which did not have leader were escaped.

Muhammed bey executed the vezir of khanate-Vaqif and his son. After a while Ibrahimkhalil khan Karabakhli returned to his khanate from Car.

Muhammed bey escaped to the palace of Sheki khan-Muhammedhasan khan, who was the friend of his father-Mehrali khan. After this event relations between Sheki and Shamakha khans with Karabakh khan became strained.

Ibrahimkhalil khan did not want to aggravate relations with Iran. He sent the remaining of Agha Muhammed Shah to new leader of the state-Fatali Shah with great respect. The Shah was glad with this attitude. Mirza Camal wrotes: “Fatali Shah, who considered the step of Ibrahimkhalil khan as mercy action, liberated the envoy with presents, sent Ibrahimkhalil khan dress and sable, gave the governance of Karabakh with all profits to Ibrahim khan and expressed his wish about becaming relative with him”. Ibrahim khan agreed with this suggestion, married his daughter Aghabeyim agha with Shah, calmed strain relations between two states. The meliks of Karabakh, who betrayed Ibrahim khan during the quarter term of century, appealed to emperor Pavel I, asked him to accept them to the protection of the Rusian empire and permit them to settle in North Caucasus (to which they attained). There was mentioned rescript of the emperor, which confirmed that Pavel I did not stop traditional policy of the protection over Christian (only grigorian) population of Azerbaijan, especially Armenian people: Rescript of the emperor Pavel about the adobtion of Armenian meliks to Russian protection October 7 of 1797. Qatchina.

Mr.general, graf Qudovich. According to the content, which was received from your side by Armenian meliks Djimshit-the owner of Varanda and Fridon-the owner of Gulistan, we order to adopt them along with Armenian nation, in an amount of seven thousand families to our protection and migrate them from Persia to Russia (underlined by us-I.M), to implement all measures, in order to realize this agreement, to give them aid for the security of their properties and for their settlement in the Caucasian line and to provide suitable and quiet lands for them.

Simultaneously, you may sent these two meliks to our capital if there will be need to give us any document from your side.

Signed by his highness: Pavel.

Expansive campaign of Iranian troops to South Caucasus, as well as Azerbaijan, contributed to that Azerbaijan khans, who confronted with cruelty of Iranian invasion and who did not want completely to be destroyed began to search any way out of this circumstance. As it was mentioned above, their position on this difficult situation were convinient to Russian interests, but the appear of Russian troops, which openly demonstrated their pro-christian position, made Azerbaijan khans to resist against Russia in order to preserve their independence.

This fact put into the doubt the thoughts, which were mentioned in Russian sources and Soviet historical literature: these sources expressed that there was intensified Russian orientation in Azerbaijan, especially in Shirvan at the end of the 18th century.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"