Fuzuli (city)

Fuzuli (Azerbaijani: Füzuli About this sound(listen)) is a city and the capital of the Fuzuli District of Azerbaijan. The city had a population of 17,090 before its capture by Armenian forces on 23 August 1993, during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, which resulted in all of the city's original Azerbaijani population being forcefully expelled and the city being completely destroyed, turning it into a ghost town. On 17 October 2020, Azerbaijani forces recaptured the city during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.[2]


Ruins of a Soviet-era bus stop in Fuzuli
Ruins of a Soviet-era bus stop in Fuzuli
Fuzuli is located in Azerbaijan
Coordinates: 39°36′01″N 47°08′35″E / 39.60028°N 47.14306°E / 39.60028; 47.14306Coordinates: 39°36′01″N 47°08′35″E / 39.60028°N 47.14306°E / 39.60028; 47.14306
Country Azerbaijan
416 m (1,365 ft)
 • TotalCurrently uninhabited
Pre-conflict population was 17,090[1]
Time zoneUTC+4 (AZT)
Area code(s)+994 141


Russian ruleEdit

The city was known as Qarabulaq until 1827[3] when it was renamed to Karyagino in honour of colonel Pavel Karyagin. It was administrated as part of Dzhebrail Uyezd during the Russian Empire.[4]

The town was renamed to Füzuli in honour of the poet Fuzuli in 1959. During the Soviet years, the city was the administrative centre of the Füzuli raion of Azerbaijan SSR. According to the 1979 census, 13,091 people lived in the city, of which 87% were Azerbaijanis and 7.4% were Russians and Ukrainians.[5] Population rose to 17,090 in 1989.[1]

Armenian occupationEdit

During the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, the city was captured by Armenian forces on 23 August 1993. All of the city's around 17,000 inhabitants were forcefully expelled and the city turned into a ghost town. The city was completely destroyed and mined after its capture by Armenian forces.[2] Subsequently, it was made part of the Hadrut Province of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh and the town was renamed Varanda (Armenian: Վարանդա) during the occupation.

Recapture by AzerbaijanEdit

In the context of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war on October 17, 2020 president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev stated that the Azerbaijani army had retaken control of the city.[6] The next day Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence released video from Fuzuli showing Azerbaijani soldiers raising the Azerbaijani flag in the centre of the city.[6]


As part of a massive reconstruction project, a new highway is to be built to Shusha via Fuzuli, according to President Aliyev who announced the plan to build during his 16 November 2020 visit to the ruins of the latter town.[7] The process was started with immediate effect, press reports suggesting the new 101 km multi-lane highway should be finished by mid-2022.[8][9]

On 5 January 2021, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev announced that an international airport was planned to be built near Fuzuli.[10] Four days later, the plan for a Fuzuli-Shusha railway was also announced.[11]

Notable nativesEdit

  • Ilyas Afandiyev — writer, Honored Artist of Azerbaijan SSR (1960), People's writer of the Azerbaijan SSR (1979).[12]
  • Gara Garayev — National footballer, Azerbaijani Footballer of the Year (2014), currently playing for the domestic Premier League side FK Qarabağ


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность городского населения союзных республик, их территориальных единиц, городских поселений и городских районов по полу". Demoscope.ru (in Russian). 1989. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Azerbaijan's Fuzuli a ghost town after Karabakh battles". france24.com. France 24. 19 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Karyagino". Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. 1890–1907.
  4. ^ "ФИЗУЛИ (до 1959 Карягино)". vedu.ru (in Russian).
  5. ^ "ФИЗУЛИНСКИЙ РАЙОН (1979 г.)". ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru (in Russian).
  6. ^ a b "The Azerbaijani flag was raised up in the center of liberated from the occupation Fuzuli city". mod.gov.az.
  7. ^ "Azerbaijani President Visits Liberated Districts, Vows to Rebuild Damaged Villages and Cities". caspiannews.com.
  8. ^ "Azerbaijan starts construction of road to Shusha". AzerNews.az. 18 November 2020.
  9. ^ Jan 5th 2021 update on highway construction progress
  10. ^ Haber, Live Haber-Tarafsız İlkeli. "Aliyev: Dağlık Karabağ'ın Fuzuli kentine havaalanı inşa edilmesi için talimat verdim - Live Haber". www.livehaber.net/ (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  11. ^ Caucasian Knot reports the new railway plans
  12. ^ "ЭФЕНДИ́ЕВ, Ильяс Магомед оглы". Краткая литературная энциклопедия.

External linksEdit