Azerbaijan regained its independence on 18 October 1991, but was subject to a sustained attack by Armenia. As a result of the Armenian assault, Azerbaijan lost 20% of its territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjunct regions; one million Azerbaijanis lost their homes and became refugees and internally displaced persons.
On 8 May 1992, Armenian armed forces attacked Shusha with the help of servicemen from the 366th regiment of the former Soviet Army and 40 pieces of armored hardware. The town was occupied after prolonged artillery shelling and unequal bloodshed and fighting.
Shusha was occupied by Armenian Military Units on May 8, 1992, which were destroyed and looted by Armenians during 28 years of its occupation. Before the occupation it had one city and one town named Turshsu, including 37 villages. The villages are Dashaltı, Goytala, Khanalı, Hasanabad, Imamgullar, Khalfali, Armudlu, Dukanlar, Garabulag, Lachnlar, Mirzalar, Shushulu, Zamanpayasi, Boyuk Galadarasi, Kichik Galadarasi, Gaybalı, Khudaverdilar, Nagılar, Yukharı Qushchular, Ashagı Gushchular, Malıbeyli, Sarıbaba, Onverest, Safikhanlar, Allahgulular, Hasangulular, Khanlıgpaya, Shırlan, Agbulag, Jamillar, Chaykand, Imanlar, Mamishlar, Pashalar, Turabkhan, Zarıslı, Nabilar.
Before the occupation State Drama theatre, Television, Museums of State Karabakh history and history of Shusha, memorial museums of Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Bulbul and Mir Mohsun Navvab, branch of Azerbaijan State Carpet museum, State Gallery of Art, 4 colleges, 2 branches of Institutes, vocational school, 25 secondary schools, secondary music schools, 7 kindergardens, 8 houses of culture, 17 clubs, 31 libraries, 40 medical institutions, 2 sanatories, Child sanatory, Child Health Center, turist base for 70 people, hotel, 5 culture and recriational park, 4 cinemas, public catering facilities were functioning in Shusha.
Stock-raising was main part of economy of the region. Lands eligible for agriculture was 20,9 thousand hectares. 3,8 thousand of it was field for plowing, 0,1 thousand for perennial plants, 0,3 thousand hectares were hay field, 16,7 thousand hectares were pastures. Irrigated fields were 0,1 hectares. 41% of 3,4 thousand hectar field was planted with grain and bean plants (wheat, barley, corn), 6% was used for vegetable-melon plantation. Fruit-growing was also among activities. There were 5,2 thousand cattle, 15,2 thousand sheep and goats (1986). One of the occupations was poultry.
There were factory of Eastern musical instruments, consumer combinat, baking factory, household service combinat, regional consumption community, Resort trade institution, building No.1 of Baku “Radiogurma” factory, weaving fabric of Karabakh silk combinat, network of electricity, basis of logistics, repair and reconstruction office, restoration office of monuments, Shusha Construction Community, Reconsturction Institution between farms, Repair Reconstruction office, Repair Reconsturction Institution between farms, Maintenance of Traffic control and so on. Resort economy was developed.
Road and pipeline Yevlakh-Nakhchivan passed from Shusha. Distance between Shusha and Baku is 373 kilometers. There were 17 blockes (mahallas) in Shusha: Gurdlar, Seyidli, Julfalar, Guyulug, Chuxur, Dordlar Gurdu, Hajı Yusifli, Dord Chinar, Chol Gala, Mardinli, Saatlı, Kocharli, Mamayı, Khoja Marjanlı, Damirchi, Hamam Gabagı və Taza mahalla. In each block there were bath, mosque and springs. Historically architect of independent Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev called Shusha as city of monuments, which had 300 historical monuments, 550 ancient residential buildings, 870 meters long restored castle walls in 350 hectares land. 23 of monuments belong to republic-wide and world-wide famous monuments. Richness of national monuments, diversity in colouretness surely caused the creation of image about Shusha as a richest land of city culture. Most of these monuments were built in XVIII-XIX centuries. Each house, street, great castle walls, mosques, magnificent minarets, remnants of grand castles are the signs of past.
Its area is mountainous (Karabakh mountain chain). The highest peak of it is Big Kirs (2725 m). Span Kecheldag is in Shusha. Mainly, jurassik and chalk sediments are spread here. There are different kinds of construction materials and mineral water springs (Turshsu, Shirlan). Gargar river flows from the region. Earth of it is mostly brown mountain-forest, grassland, grassy. Upper mountainous area is covered with subalp and alp meadows.
Shusha facing stone deposit, abled to produce 397 thousand cubic meters ceramic bricks production Kechaldag (Lisogor) clay deposit, with capacity 389 thousand cubic meters a day the Shusha underground freshwater deposit and with capacity 343 thousand cubic meters and 70 thousand cubic meters a day the Shirlan and Turshsu mineral water deposits.
Dashalti State Nature Reserve covering 450 hectares area was established in 1988 to protect unique natural resources in the area of Shusha and Asgaran. Shusha is a resort city due to its weather’s purity, composition and curative importance. For that reason Shusha was well-known not only in Azerbaijan but also beyond the borders for its recreational places and picturesque zones.
There is one flower owning special beauty in Shusha mountains. It does not grow anywhere else. The miracle created by nature is called Khari bulbul. Topside of the flower is as if there is nightingale on it.
Turshsu summer pastures, Sakili spring, Isa, Shamil springs, legendary “Jidir duzu” are the favorite locations of local people and guests.
Turshsu is famous as rest and medical zone. It is located in 40 kilometers from Lachin road. From the left side river Dashalti flows. Turshsu was popular for its therapeutic and medicinal bathtubs.
One of the sightseeings in Shusha is Yukhari Dashalti. People called that place Garden of Shamil. Peculiar trait of this place is that it is situated over river Dashalti, under the mountain Uchmikh, around the spring. One of the favorite places of tourists visiting Shusha is unreplaceable and having spectacular nature – “Jidir duzu”. Western part of it consists of 3 heights standing behind of one another. Those hills were named “Uchmikh”.
Tourists staying in sanatories and recreational centers visit those spectacular places and can not hide their surprise. Khari-bulbul festivals are held every May in one of the main recreation centers “Jidir duzu”.
Shusha was occupied on May 8, 1992 by Russian and Armenian invaders. Occupation date of Shusha was heavy blow to Azerbaijan morality and severe grief for all of us. During invasion of Shusha 200 people were killed, 150 were handicapped, 552 babies became orphan, and nearly 22 thousand people became refugees. During invasion aggressors demolished our historical monuments and razed them to the ground as reported. Armenian military forces plundered 15 ethnographic examples, 5 copper goods, 2 silver daggers, 1 stone pot, 20 different objects and valuable possessions from Shusha city museum, 5 precious ancient carpets, 4 kilims, 5 saddle-bags, 1 valuable lamp, portrait of Uzeyir Hajibeyov, and several historical items from Karabakh history museum, many possessions and unique objects from memorial house museums of Mir Mohsun Navvab and Bulbul.
They carried precious objects from Shusha museums to Armenia – art and architectural works, carpet productions, folk applied art examples, archeological findings, necessary documents, and memorial possessions of Azerbaijan outstanding personalities. Now those things are sold in auction or presented to public as Armenian cultural samples in exhibition and museums.
Yes, in XX century Shusha encountered tragedies events and was occupied. His children became refugees and martyrs, but never bent he is still living. Population settled in 700 settlements of 58 regions.
On November 8, 2020 the Glorious Army of Azerbaijan liberated Shusha from the Armenian occupation.