Makhachkala is a city in Russia, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan. It is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Mahachkala is the city in the south of Russia, the current capital of Dagestan, and one of the largest Russian cities in the Northern Caucasus and the Northern Caucasus federal district. The settlement was established in 1844 as the Russian military area Petrovskaya. In 1857 the settlement achieved the status of a city and was renamed Petrovsk, as a result of the legend about Peter the Great's army being stationed there in 1772. The current name was given to the city in 1921 in honor of Mahach Dahadaev. According to the Russian 2010 census, the city has a population of more than 700,000 and are comprised of more than 60 different nationalities of Dagestan and Russian origin.