The Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) was created by Azerbaijan Central Executive Soviet Committee decree on July 7, 1923 with Khankendi as capital. It was officially proclaimed in November of the following year. Following the establishment of the NKAO, its territory was divided according to the district-volost-village principle, as follows:
With the conduction of the new administrative division a number of alterations were made to the NKAO. Its territory was divided again into five districts in August 1930: Djeraberd, Martuni, Stepanakert, Dizag, and Shusha. Varanda, the area of Khatuni belonged to Stepanakert was called Martuni. On August 17, 1939, names of Djerabert and Dizag renamed as Mardakert and Hadrut, respectively. On January 4, 1963, Shusha district was abolished and its territory was unified to Stepanakert. However, two years later, on January 6, 1965 it was restored. In 1978 Stepanakert district was abolished and Askeran district was established in its place. This administrative division of the NKAO continued until the dissolution of the USSR.
 Cornell, Svante E., “Undeclared War: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Reconsidered”, Journal of South Asian and Middle East Studies, Vol. 20. No. 4, 1997, p. 4.
 “Administrative territorial division”, Garabagh.net; http://garabagh.net/content_70_en.html. Accessed on October 2, 2020.