Aktobe, formerly known as Aktyubinsk (Russian: , until 1999), is a city on the Ilek River in Kazakhstan. With a population of 277,700, it is the capital of Aktobe Province. Aktobe has a mixed ethnic community, including Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Uyghurs, Chechens, Armenians, Jews and Greeks. Before perestroika the city also was home to a sizeable German community. The name "Aktobe" comes from Kazakh "" (white) and "" (hill); the name is a reference to the heights on which the original 19th century settlement was located. The territory of modern-day Aktobe province has borne witness to the rise and fall of many Central Asian cultures and empires. The region has figured prominently in the history of the Kazakh "Little Horde" (Kaz. , Rus. ). The Kazakh war-leader Eset Batyr (Kaz. ) based his campaigns against the Dzungars from this area. His mausoleum is located 35 km. to the south of Aktobe city. Abulkhair Khan (1693 - 1748) was also based in this region. In March 1869 a Russian military fort with a garrison of 300 was built at the confluence of the Kargala and Ilek Rivers, along the Orenburg - Kazalinsk caravan route. From this period Slavic settlers began to immigrate to the region in order to farm, and very soon neighborhoods had been built around the fort. In 1874 the fort was expanded in size, and streets were laid out to and from the fort's gate. In 1891 the settlement was labelled a district city, and officially named "Aktyubinsk": .