1853. The Aral Sea. The picture is a blatant proof of the fact that the Aral Sea once was navigable, and Kazakhstan had all chances to become a sea-power.
The history of the Aral Sea navigation started here 5 years prior. Obviously, it was directly related to Russian interests in Asia. In 1848, Alexey Ivanovich Butakov the Third was appointed as a head of expedition which aimed to explore the Aral Sea. He set off on a two-masted schooner “Constantin” with Taras Shevchenko, then exiled, who joined Butakov as an artist.