Historical Information

 East Kazakhstan is an area that connects South Siberia & Altai with Semirechye and Middle Asia. Its geographical situation played always main role in historical development of tribes and nations of West Asian steppe zone. Archeological surveys show the territory was dwelled since ancient times. Ancient mountain development traces, ancient mining developments, irrigating canals, numerous buildings ruins saved in Altai, Zaysan hollows, along Saur and Tarbagatai slopes testify it. In Irtish heighlands first human being appeared in Ice Period (middle paleolith), moving probably from the south. This was small groups of Neanderthal men who was hunting the mammoth, rhinoceros, bisons. Ancient settlements’ traces of Neolithic epoch were found in Zyryanovsk region, Ust-Narym, in Semei dunes.
For Andronov tribes, who lived in highlands of Irtysh Bronze epoch, the most important and progressive craft was mining art and metallurgy. They produced nearly ten tons of bronze a year.

Even this small figure made East Kazakhstan one of the hugest metallurgical centers of Northern Asia and East Europe. In 8th century B.C. An important economical revolution happened in the life of tribes who lived in the territory – it was turn to the nomad mode of life. Then comes the times of early nomads – a powerful tribes of arimas and sacs. In the first centuries A.D. patriarchal-feudal relationships began to form in nomad world, who continually dominated among nomads up to 20th century.
In 9-13 centuries the settlements of Kimaks, nomad houses of naimans were scattered along the Irtysh coast. The most large Kimaks’ town was Imakiya.
Great Silk way played a great role in development of Material culture of this tribes. The roads leading to Altai, Zaisan, Tarbagatai, Semei steppes went away from the main line of this Way.
In 15th century Kazakh tribes settling the Modern Kazakhstan territory united to Kazakh Khanship, that consisted from 3 zhuzes (Senior, Middle, Junior). The Middle zhuz contented Kazakh tribes dwelling East Kazakhstan (kypchaks, naimans). First half of 18 century is considered a year of Great disaster in the History of Kazakh nation. Kazakh land were invaded by Jungar aggressors. Russian people were fighting along with Kazakhs against Jungar conquerors. By the end of 17 century the South-Eastern boundary of Russian State closely adjoined to Kazakh lands. Russia’s economical and political interests in the East made it strengthen and widen relationships with Kazakhstan and Middle Asia. First Russian expeditions were directed further along the Irtysh. Moving further Russians began to erect Irtysh reinforced line - kazak fortresses and advanced posts. This defensive buildings played great role in Kazakh-Russian relationships development, in defense of Middle Zhuz tribes from Jungar aggression and caused the connection of the territory to Russia. In 1718 near the ruins of Jungar monastery-fortress seignioral son Vasili Cheredovoi founded Sevenpart fortress (now – Semei city).
In 1720 Russian tsar Peter the First’s envoy - labor-guards’ major Ivan Liharev founded Ust-Kamennaya fortress (now – Ust-Kamenogorsk city). Both Semey and Ust-Kamenogorsk cities had mainly trade importance over many decades. Caravan ways from Russia to Middle Asia, Mongolia, China crossed here. First colonizers in the territory were Siberian kazaks, who fixed the territories just connected to Russia. However, they were not be able to solve the problem of economical development. It could be done through mass peasant colonization. On the basis of Russian Senate decrees issued in 1760, 1762 along with willing peasant-immigrants from Russian province also slaves, convicts, Russian dissenters were exiled to Altai. However, mass shifting began after construction of the Great Siberian railroad highway in 19th century. Majority of immigrants occupied the Irtysh valley and its right inflows, Belagach steppe. By the beginning of 20 century Irtysh left coast, mainly foothills of Kalbinski and Tarbagatai backbone were settled. Peasant colonization much lesser spread to hard-to-reach places of South Altai and deserted areas of hills. Since native population gradually turned to settled mode of life during the 19-20 centuries, separate Kazakh townships emerged there. Rudnyi Altai Southern volosts were the richest ones in the territory. Farming agriculture, cattle breeding, beekeeping and different crafts: hunt, fishery were developed there. Buhtarma volost was the place where Siberian stags were bred. Unique wealth of Altai subsoil contribute to the fast development of mining industry. In 18 century the most famous deposits of polymetal ores were founded, they are: Zyryanovskoye (1791), Ridderskoye (1786), also Belousovskoye, Kryukovskoye, Talovskoye, Glubokovskoye etc. In 19th century Gold mining industry was turbulently developing in Priirtyshye. Wealth and variety of deposits, landscapes, flora and fauna of the area attracted the attention of many famous Russian and foreign scientists over the last three centuries. Great Russian travelers (Semenov-Tyan-Shanski P., Przhevalski N., Potanin G., Sapozhnikov V., Obruchev A., Chihachev P., Shurovski G., Gumboldt A., Brem A., German scientist - Otto Finsh, American journalist - Cannon D., great explorers of ethnography, region nations history - Г. Spasski, Yadrintzev N., Konshin N.) surveyed this territories with their expeditions. Before the revolution of 1917, towns and settlements there were small. East Kazakhstan became a place of political exile, were Decembrists, revolutionary democrats were sent to live there after Tsar Russia court’s sentence. This was the second motherland for many people like Kostyurin O. – the first major of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Konshin N. – secretary of Semipalatinski regional statistical committee, Mihaelis E. – explorer of geology, geomorphology, Altai glaciers, a friend and teacher of the Great Kazakh poet Abay and so on.
History of 20th century is closely connected with the History of Russia and USSR. East Kazakhstan leaved out revolutions of 1905-1907, 1917, civic war, Stalin’s repressions of 30-50-s. During the World War Two the region provided the front with lead, copper, cadmium, tin, metallurgical antimony and other metals, that were essential for ammunition and arms production. The production of non-ferrous metals was raised 2,5 times. Searching a place to build test nuclear polygon in 1947, they chose Kazakh steppe near Semipalatinsk city: free space, small population, remoteness from the Center and at the same time it was near to full-watered Irtysh, railroad and automobile tracks, airport. In 1949-1989 Semipalatinski nuclear polygon produced nearly 500 blasts, which caused a great harm to many thousand people health, to environment. In 1991 the polygon was closed owing to the efforts of International nuclear movement "Nevada-Semipalatinsk". With the decree of Kazakhstan Republic President issued in 1997 Semipalatinski region was abolished and became a part of East Kazakhstan region.
After Kazakhstan get a state sovereignty in 1991 East Kazakhstan takes part along with the other state regions in the building of new sovereign state, that is oriented towards civilized market relationships in the economy and democratic relations in public-political sphere.
Rich in events and still enough unexplored history of our region gives unlimited opportunities for scientific-exploration works. In 2002 it is 1500 year jubileeof "Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sly" epos. This is a unique archeological monument with world importance.

Choose a region or a city:

Book a room


City Guests