Water excursion on Ili River

Shipping on the Ili River was introduced in Soviet Kazakhstan in 1927. To mark this event, river-transport workers arranged a barge for young pioneers. That water excursion was photographed by a local photographer Alexander Ionov. Reintroduction of maritime transport on the Ili River after a long break has become a historical milestone for Semirechye residents. The Ili River is the biggest river in the region and the third-largest waterway in Kazakhstan.

It is hard to believe that 70 years prior to Ionov’s picture, men were dragging a barge, loaded with bread, from Balkhash to Iliysk with their bare hands.