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It is connected by rail with the south Russian railway system at Beslan, the junction for Vladikavkaz (400 m.), via Derbent and Petrovsk, with Batum (560 m.) and Poti (536 m.) on the Black Sea via Tiflis.
Russian aggression began somewhat early in the r8th century, when Peter the Great, establishing his base at Astrakhan on the Volga, and using the Caspian for bringing up supplies and munitions of war, captured Derbent from the Persians in 1722, and Baku in the following year.
The only towns are Temir-khan-shura (pop. 9208 in 1897), the capital of the government, Derbent (14,821) and Petrovsk (9806), the last two both on the Caspian.
On the occasion of the peace of Nystad, which terminated the 21 years' war between Russia and Sweden, Bestuzhev designed and struck a commemorative medal with a panegyrical Latin inscription, which so delighted Peter (then at Derbent) that he sent a letter of thanks written with his own hand and his portrait set in brilliants.