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Dnieper River

The Dnieper River is one of the longest in Europe. It is the fourth longest after the Volga, the Danube, and the Urals. Today, taking into account water reservoirs, it is about 2,201 km, with half of the length belonging to Ukraine and the rest to Russia and Belarus. The greatest width of the Dnieper – about 1,200 m, the width of the floodplain – up to 20 km.

The Dnieper is a typical lowland river, flowing slowly and quietly through Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine and flowing into the Black Sea. It has a rather winding channel, so it changes the direction of its flow several times, and also forms many islands, rifts, arms, shoals, etc.

The beginning of the Dnieper River

The beginning of the Dnieper River in Russia

The source of the Dnieper River is located in the south of the Valdai in the Okovsky forest in the Smolensk region. It is worth noting that the sources of the Volga, Western Dvina and other large rivers are also located on the Valdai.

Beginning from the source, the Dnieper for several tens of kilometers, is a small river, up to 30 meters wide, but near Orsha it expands to 120 meters, becomes rafting, and flows strictly south to Kiev.

The middle course of the Dnieper

From Kiev, the Dnieper turns southeast toward the Dnepropetrovsk upland. Then flows past the famous Taras Mountain, where Taras Shevchenko is buried. At this point, the Dnieper valley already reaches 10 km.

From the city of Dnieper (formerly Dnepropetrovsk), the Dnieper flows southward, through Zaporozhye. It gradually increases and reaches its maximum width – up to 1,200 m. Once there were famous rapids near Zaporozhye, but now there is a water reservoir.

Lower Dnieper River

The Lower Dnieper River in Ukraine

After Zaporizhzhya, the Dnieper turns southwest, enters the dry steppe zone, splits into two large arms and forms the island of Khortitsa, where the Zaporizhian Sich was once located in the old river.

Then there are the so-called floodplains, which are now completely flooded by the huge Kakhovka reservoir. The Dnieper is slowly but surely approaching its mouth to give all its waters to the Black Sea.

Where the Dnieper River ends

Where the Dnieper ends

Below Kakhovka, the mouth of the Dnieper River is formed. The river divides into several branches, and a large river delta is formed. Its area is about 350 square kilometers. It is a very beautiful place with a huge number of islands and lakes.

The Dnieper River flows into the Dnieper estuary, which is part of the Black Sea. This firth is deep enough, so ships and ships from the sea can go all the way to Kherson.

Feeding the Dnieper River

Feeding the Dnieper

The upper part of the Dnieper is located in a very wet forest zone, from which it is fed. The middle part of the Dnieper River is in the forest-steppe zone, and the lower part is in the arid steppe.

Dnieper has a mixed type of diet. In the upper part of the river it is predominantly snow feeding (50%), as well as rain and groundwater feeding. And in the middle of the Dnieper – mostly snow feeding (up to 90%).

More than three-fourths of the drainage is formed in the upper part of the river, where the source of the Dnieper is located. In the upper part of the river basin, the cooler climate produces more precipitation and much less evaporation.

Dnieper tributaries

Tributaries are located along the entire length of the Dnieper River, but most of them are from the source to Kiev. In all, there are more than 15,000 small rivers in the river basin, all of which feed the big Dnieper.

The Berezina and Sozh in Belarus, Pripyat, Desna, Teterev, and Irpen in Ukraine flow into the Dnieper River up to Kiev. In the middle reaches of the tributaries are not as high-water: Stugna, Ros, Tyasmin, Trubezh, Sula, Vorksla, Samara, etc.

History of the Dnieper

History of the Dnieper River

The Dnieper River has had several names throughout history, given by different peoples: Borisfen (Ancient Greece), Danapris (Ancient Rome), Slavutich (Kievan Rus), Ozu (Crimean Khanate).

It is interesting that in ancient times, according to scientists and historians, the Dnieper in its lower part had a different channel and mouth. There is an opinion that one of the three mouths of this river could be in the Donuzlava region of Crimea.

The Dnieper was first mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. He calls this river the Borisphene, which in ancient Greek means the Northern River. The ancient Romans called the Dnieper Danapris, and the Slavs called it Slavutich.

It was on the Dnieper during the Middle Ages, the famous route from the Varangians to the Greeks. It was hindered only by rapids in the area of Zaporizhzhya Sich, through which the ships with the goods were carried by hand.

In the 9th-11th centuries, a strong Slavic state of Kievan Rus formed and grew in the middle part of the Dnieper. And in the 16th century the first Cossack proto-state Zaporizhian Sich appeared on the lower Dnieper.

In 1943, during the Great Patriotic War there was a battle for the Dnieper River between the armies of the USSR and Nazi Germany, as a result of which the Dnieper was forced by Soviet troops.

The problems of the Dnieper

Today, the most important problem of this river is considerable pollution by household and industrial waste.

The radioactive pollution of the Dnieper River waters near the Chernobyl accident continues to have a significant impact on nature.

Today, the vast majority of hydraulic structures and bridges on the Dnieper is destroyed and falling into disrepair because of chronic underfunding This can lead to serious man-made disasters.

The Dnieper River on the map

Map of Dnieper

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