The USSR was rightly called the country of new cities - in its rush to build the perfect socialist industrial future, purposely-built apartment blocks, factories, and houses of culture sprung up out of nowhere to form the new conglomerate. Azerbaijan was no exception. Some now large cities were developed from these already existing, though small, villages, like Ali-Bayramli and Mingachevir; others were created from scratch, like Sumqayit. All these urban spaces share the rigid Soviet architecture and expanses of factories which attracted thousands of workers from all over Azerbaijan - and beyond. They also house thousands of displaced from Nagorno Karabakh who fled the region at the end of the open conflict in the 1990s.
They are cities with little history, and their residents do not feel they totally belong to them.