First Steps on the Work of the Aral Sea "Envy Your Ships with Guns and that Sea Really Take Over…"
This article reveals some aspects of the history of the Russian Empire's conquest of the Aral Sea and the study of the adjacent river arteries of Central (Middle) Asia in order to establish a trade route with India and China through the newly formed steppe South-Eastе border of the Empire. In the early 30s of the XVIII century, the General political situation on the South-Easte borders of Russia changed radically. This was due to the fact that the Khan of the Small Kirghiz-Kaysak Horde(zhuza)
... ysak Horde(zhuza) Abulkhair, who was at war with Dzungaria, in search of an ally, asked the Empress Anna Ioannovna to accept the Small Kirghiz-Kaysak Horde (zhuza) as a Russian citizen. This circumstance was the reason that I.K. Kirilov had the idea of redirecting the routes of international trade through the lands of the Karakalpaks and the Small Kirghiz-Kaysak Horde (zhuza), the Aral Sea, and the merchant city-pier built on these lands. It is for this reason that, since the thirties of the XVIII century, naval officers of the Imperial Russian Navy took part in the fate of Orenburg; it would seem, despite all the illogic of solving Maritime problems in the steppe region. The Orenburg region becomes a bridgehead where a foreign policy operation was being prepared and deployed to further advance Russia to the East. Based on this, the first "steppe shipyard" in the region was laid in Orenburg and the first sea ships were built, which marked the beginning of the formation of the Aral flotilla. The fate of the glorious galaxy of Russian admirals and officers of the Imperial Russian Navy was inextricably linked with the history of Orenburg. The creation of the flotilla on the Aral sea was the logical conclusion of the Russian state's geopolitical aspirations to create a land and trade route to Central Asia, and then to China and India using the sea areas and waterways of the region, and, importantly, by peaceful means.