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The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people who created a powerful empire on the European steppes during the early Middle Ages. It emerged in the early 7th century as the Göktürk khaganate disintegrated under Chinese pressure and, its armies swelled by refugees coming from further east, by the 660s it had grown strong enough to overcome the neighbouring Bulgar confederation. The Bulgars migrated south and created a new empire in the Balkans, while the Khazars took their place as the dominant power of the steppe.