NOTE: Khazar is sometimes also spelled Chazar.
The Khazars are an extinct Turkic people. The Khazar 'Golden Age' lasted from about AD 200 to about AD 950. At first, the Khazars lived in the region of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea. Later, they moved to the steppes of southeastern Russia.
At the height of their power, in the 9th century, the Khazars controlled Russia west to the Dnieper River and north to the mid-point of the Volga River. They were avid traders, with their capital located at Itil (present day Astrakhan). The Khazars were a melting pot of many races, having assimilated peoples from many ethnically diverse groups during their history. Most authorities classify them as a Turkish or, less probably, a Georgian people. In the 7th century their Khakan, or sovereign, embraced Judaism, and a large part of the population converted thereafter.
Khazar power came to an end when, after a series of wars, they were assimilated by the Russians. The Khazars were a significant factor in preventing Arab expansion to the Caucasus.
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Gorgonzola says: The Khazars are not extinct; the people of Dagestan (between Chechnya and the Caspain) claim to be their descendants.