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Volga River (Волга)
The Volga at Ulyanovsk
Country Russia
 - left Kama River
 - right Oka River
Cities Astrakhan, Volgograd, Samara, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl
 - location Valdai Hills, Tver Oblast
 - elevation 225 m (738 ft)
Mouth Caspian Sea
 - elevation
Length 3,692 km (2,294 mi)
Basin 1,380,000 km2 (532,821 sq mi)
Discharge for Astrakhan
 - average 8,060 m3/s (284,636 cu ft/s)
Map of the Volga watershed

The Volga (Russian: Волга) is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including its capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage basin. Some of the largest reservoirs in the world can be found along the Volga.



The Russian hydronym "Волга" is akin to the old Mari name of the river - Volgydo that means "bright". Mari people are considered as the first people in Volga. Presently Mari call the river as Юл (Jul) that means "way" from Tatar. The name volgydo is cognate to Finno-Ugric valkea meaning "white" or "bright". Russians explain Volga from slavic word for "wetness", "humidity" (влага, волога).[1] The Russian name is transliterated as Volga in English and Wolga in German.

The Turkic people living along the river formerly referred to it as Itil or Atil. In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel (Идел) in Tatar, Idyll in ancient Chuvash-Bolgar, Атăл (Atăl) in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, and İdil in Turkish. The Turkic peoples associated the Itil's origin with the Kama River. Thus, a left tributary to the Kama river was named the Aq Itil (White Itil).

Under the Mongols, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su ("yellow water") but Mongols used also their own name Shar mörön ("yellow river").

The ancient and modern Mordvin name for the Volga, Рав (Rav), apparently reflects the ancient Scythian hydronym *Rhā, suppedly cognate with the ancient Avestan and Sanskrit names Rañha and Rasah for a mythical river supposed to flow around the earth[2]. It has even been suggested that the name Russian itself might have been derived from Rasah/Rosah, the Iranic name of the Volga River (by F.Knauer Moscow 1901). These Iranic words are all connected in their primary meaning of "dew, liquid, moisture".


The Volga is the longest river in Europe. It belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea. Rising in the Valdai Hills 225 meters (738 ft) above sea level north-west of Moscow and about 320 kilometers (199 mi) south-east of Saint Petersburg, the Volga heads east past Lake Sterzh, Tver, Dubna, Rybinsk, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kazan. From there it turns south, flows past Ulyanovsk, Tolyatti, Samara, Saratov and Volgograd, and discharges into the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan at 28 meters (92 ft) below sea level. At its most strategic point, it bends toward the Don ("the big bend"). Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is located there.

The Saratov Bridge, running across the Volga, used to be the longest in Europe.

The Volga has many tributaries, most importantly the Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, and the Sura rivers. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which drains an area of about 1.35 million square kilometres in the most heavily populated part of Russia. The Volga Delta has a length of about 160 kilometres and includes as many as 500 channels and smaller rivers. The largest estuary in Europe, it is the only place in Russia where pelicans, flamingoes, and lotuses may be found. The Volga freezes for most of its length for three months each year.

The Volga drains most of Western Russia. Its many large reservoirs provide irrigation and hydroelectric power. The Moscow Canal, the Volga-Don Canal, and the Volga-Baltic Waterway form navigable waterways connecting Moscow to the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. High levels of chemical pollution currently give cause for environmental concern.

The fertile river valley provides large quantities of wheat, and also has many mineral riches. A substantial petroleum industry centres on the Volga valley. Other minerals include natural gas, salt, and potash. The Volga Delta and the nearby Caspian Sea offer superb fishing grounds. Astrakhan, at the delta, is the centre of the caviar industry.

Confluents (downstream to upstream)

Rzhev is the uppermost town situated on the Volga (photographed circa 1910).
Volga near Zubtsov, circa 1910

Reservoirs (downstream to upstream)

Several old towns, including Kalyazin and Mologa, were flooded by Soviet authorities in the 1940s.

A number of large hydroelectric reservoirs were constructed on the Volga during the Soviet rule. They are:

Human history

The downstream of the Volga, widely believed to have been a cradle of the Proto-Indo-European civilization, was settled by Huns and other Turkic peoples in the first millennium AD, replacing Scythians. The ancient scholar Ptolemy of Alexandria mentions the lower Volga in his Geography (Book 5, Chapter 8, 2nd Map of Asia). He calls it the Rha, which was the Scythian name for the river. Ptolemy believed the Don and the Volga shared the same upper branch, which flowed from the Hyperborean Mountains.

Many Orthodox shrines and monasteries are strewn along the banks of the Volga

Subsequently the river basin played an important role in the movements of peoples from Asia to Europe. A powerful polity of Volga Bulgaria once flourished where the Kama river joins the Volga, while Khazaria controlled the lower stretches of the river. Such Volga cities as Atil, Saqsin, or Sarai were among the largest in the medieval world. The river served as an important trade route connecting Scandinavia, Rus', and Volga Bulgaria with Khazaria and Persia.

Khazars were replaced by Kipchaks, Kimeks and Mongols, who founded the Golden Horde in the lower reaches of the Volga. Later their empire broke into the Khanate of Kazan and Khanate of Astrakhan both of which were conquered by the Russians in the course of the 16th century Russo-Kazan Wars. The Russian people's deep feeling for the Volga finds echoes in their culture and literature, starting from the 12th-century Lay of Igor's Campaign. [3] The Volga Boatmen's Song is one of many songs devoted to the national river of Russia.

Construction of Soviet dams often involved enforced resettlement of huge numbers of people, as well as destruction of their historical heritage. For instance, the town of Mologa was flooded for the purpose of constructing the Rybinsk Reservoir (then the largest artificial lake in the world), and the construction of the Uglich Reservoir entailed the flooding of several monasteries with buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. In such cases the ecological and cultural damage often outbalanced any economical advantage.[4]

20th-century conflicts

During the Russian Civil War, both sides fielded warships on the Volga. In 1918, the Red Volga Flotilla participated in driving the Whites eastward, from the Middle Volga at Kazan to the Kama and eventually to Ufa on the Belaya River.[5]

In modern times, the city on the big bend of the Volga, currently known as Volgograd, witnessed the Battle of Stalingrad, the bloodiest battle in human history, in which the Soviet Union and the German forces were deadlocked in a stalemate battle for access to the river. The Volga was (and still is) a vital transport route between Russia and the Caspian Sea, which provides access to the oil fields of Apsheron.

Soviet Marines charge the Volga river bank.

Hitler planned to use access to the oil fields of Azerbaijan to fuel future German conquests. Apart from that, whoever held both sides of the river could move valuable troops and war machines, across the river, to defeat the enemy's fortifications beyond the river.[6] By taking the river, Hitler's Germany would have been able to move supplies, guns, and men into the northern part of Russia.

For this reason, many amphibious assaults were brought about in an attempt to remove the other side from the banks of the river. In these battles, The Soviet Union was the main offensive side, while the German troops used a more defensive stance, though most the fighting was head on head, with no clear offensive or defensive side.

Ethnic groups

Mari ethnographic museum in Kozmodemyansk on the Volga.

The first people along the upper Volga are Mari (Мари) and their west ethnic group named Merya (Мäрӹ) that came here around 1-3rd century. In the 8th and 9th centuries Slavic colonization began from Kievan Rus'. They brought Christianity, and a part of local people took Christianity and gradually became East Slavs; the remainder of Mari people migrated to the west far inland. In the course of several centuries they assimilated the indigenous Finnic population which included Merya and Meshchera peoples. The surviving peoples of Volga Finnic ethnicity include the Maris and Mordvins of the middle Volga.

Apart from the Huns, the earliest Turkic tribes arrived in the 7th century and assimilated some Finnic and Indo-European population on the middle and lower Volga. The Christian Chuvash and Muslim Tatars are descendants of the population of medieval Volga Bulgaria. Another Turkic group, the Nogais, formerly inhabited the lower Volga steppes.

The Volga region is home to a German minority group, the Volga Germans. Catherine the Great had issued a Manifesto in 1763 inviting all foreigners to come and populate the region, offering them numerous incentives to do so. This was partly to develop the region but also to provide a buffer zone between the Russians and the Mongol hordes to the east. Because of conditions in German territories, the Germans responded in the largest numbers. Under the Soviet Union a slice of the region was turned into the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to house many of the Volga Germans. Others were executed or dispersed throughout the Soviet Union prior to and after World War II.


The Volga has a rocky right bank

The Volga, widened for navigation purposes with construction of huge dams during the years of Stalin's industrialization, is of great importance to inland shipping and transport in Russia: all the dams in the river have been equipped with large (double) ship locks, so that vessels of considerable dimensions can actually travel from the Caspian Sea almost to the upstream end of the river.

Connections with the Don River and the Black Sea are possible through the Volga-Don Canal. Connections with the lakes of the north (Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega), Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea are possible through the Volga-Baltic Waterway; and a liaison with Moscow has been realised by the Moscow Canal connecting the Volga and the Moskva rivers.

This infrastructure has been designed for vessels of a relatively large scale (lock dimensions of 290 x 30 meters on the Volga, slightly smaller on some of the other rivers and canals) and it spans many thousands of kilometers. A number of formerly state-run, now mostly privatized, companies operate passenger and cargo vessels on the river; Volgotanker, with over 200 petroleum tankers, is one of them.

In the later Soviet era, up to the modern times, grain and oil have been among the largest cargo exports transported on the Volga.[7] Until recently access to the Russian waterways was granted to foreign vessels on a only very limited scale. The increasing contacts between the European Union and Russia have led to new policies with regard to the access to the Russian inland waterways. It is expected that vessels of other nations will be allowed on the Russian rivers soon.[8]

See also


  1. ^ See Max Vasmer's dictionary under "Волга".
  2. ^ Lebedynsky, Iaroslav. Les Sarmates : Amazones et lanciers cuirassés entre Oural et Danube. Paris: Editions Errance, 2002.
  3. ^ Volga River
  4. ^ "In all, Soviet dams flooded 2,600 villages and 165 cities, almost 78,000 sq. km. - the area of Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined - including nearly 31,000 sq. km. of agricultural land and 31,000 sq. km. of forestland". Quoted from: Paul R. Josephson. Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World. Island Press, 2002. ISBN 1559637773. Page 31.
  5. ^ Brian Pearce, Introduction to Fyodor Raskolnikov s "Tales of Sub-lieutenant Ilyin."
  6. ^ ::The Battle of Stalingrad::
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ NoorderSoft Waterways Database)

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VOLGA (known to the Tatars as Etil, DR or Atel; to the Finnish tribes as Rau, and to the ancients as Rha and Oarus), the longest and most important river of European Russia. It rises in the Valdai plateau of Tver and, after a winding course of 2325 m. (1070 in a straight line), falls into the Caspian at Astrakhan: It is by far the longest river of Europe, the x xvriz. 7 Danube, which comes next to it, being only 1775 m., while the Rhine (760 m.) is shorter even than two of the chief tributaries of the Volga - the Oka and the Kama. Its drainage area, which includes the whole of middle and eastern as well as part of south-eastern Russia, amounts to 563,300 sq. m., thus exceeding the aggregate superficies of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and containing a population of fifty millions. Its tributaries are navigable for an aggregate length of nearly 20,000 m. The "basin" of the Volga is not limited to its actual catchment area. By a system of canals which connect the upper Volga with the Neva, the commercial mouth of the Volga has been transferred, so to speak, from the Caspian to the Baltic, thus making St Petersburg, the capital and chief seaport of Russia, the chief port of the Volga basin as well. Other less important canals connect it with the Western Dvina (Riga) and the White Sea (Archangel); while a railway only 45 m. in length joins the Volga with the Don and the Sea of Azov, and three great trunk lines bring its lower parts into connexion with the Baltic and western Europe.

The Volga rises in extensive marshes on the Valdai plateau, where the W. Dvina also has its origin. Lake Seliger was formerly considered to be the principal source;but that distinction is now given to a small spring issuing beneath a chapel (57° 15' N.; 32° 30' E.) in the midst of a large marsh to the west of Seliger.

The honour has also been claimed, not without plausibility, for the Runa rivulet. Recent exact surveys have shown these originating marshes to be no more than 665 ft. above sea-level. The stream first traverses several small lakes, all having the same level, and, after its confluence with the Runa, enters Lake Volga. A dam erected a few miles below that lake, with a storage of nearly io,000 million cub. ft. of water, makes it possible to raise the level of the Volga as far down as the Sheksna, thus rendering it navigable, even at low water, from its 65th mile onwards.

From its confluence with the Sheksna the Volga flows with a very gentle descent towards the south-east, past Yaroslavl and Kostroma, along a broad valley hollowed to a depth of 150-200 ft. in the Permian and Jurassic deposits. In fact, its course lies through a string of depressions formerly filled with wide lakes, all linked together. When the Volga at length assumes a due south-east direction it is a large river (8250 cub. ft. per second, rising occasionally in high flood to as much as 178,360 cub. ft.); of its numerous tributaries, the Unzha (365 m., 330 navigable), from the north, is the most important.

The next great tributary is the Oka, which comes from the southwest after having traversed, on its course of 950 m., all the Great Russian provinces of central Russia. It rises in the government of Orel, among hills which also send tributaries to the Dnieper and the Don, and receives on the left the Upa, the Zhizdra, the Ugra (300 m.), the Moskva, on which steamers ply up to Moscow, the Klyazma (J95 m.), on whose banks arose the middle-Russian principality of Suzdal, and on the right the navigable Tsna (255 m.) and Moksha. Every one of these tributaries is connected with some important event in the history of Great Russia. The drainage area of the Oka is a territory of 97,000 sq. m. It has been maintained that, of the two rivers which unite at NizhniyNovgorod, the Oka, not the Volga, is the chief; the fact is that both in length (818 m.) and in drainage area above the confluence (89,500 sq. m.), as well as in the aggregate length of its tributaries, the Volga is the inferior stream.

At its confluence with the Oka the Volga enters the broad lacustrine depression which must have communicated with the Caspian during the post-Pliocene period by means of at least a broad strait. Its level at low water is only 190 ft. above that of the ocean. Immediately below the confluence the breadth of the river ranges from 350 to 1750 yds. There are many islands which change their appearance and position after each inundation. On the right the Volga is joined by the Sura, which drains a large area and brings a volume of 2700 to 22,000 cub. ft. of water per second, the Vetluga (465 m. long, of which 365 are navigable), from the forest-tracts of Yaroslavl, and many smaller tributaries. Then the stream turns south-east and descends into another lacustrine depression, where it receives the Kama, below Kazan. Remains of molluscs still extant in the Caspian occur extensively throughout this depression and up the lower Kama.

The Kama,' which brings to the Volga a contribution ranging from 52,500 to 144,400 cub. ft. and occasionally reaching 515,000 cub. ft. per second, might again be considered as the more important of the two rivers. It rises in Vyatka, takes a wide sweep towards the north and east, and then flows south and south-west to join the Volga after a course of no less than 1150 m.

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' To the Votyaks it is known as the Budzhim-Kam, to the Chuvashes as the Shoiga-adil and to the Tatars as the Cholman-idel or Ak-idel, all words signifying "White river." Along the next 738 m. of its course the Volga - now 580 to 2600 yds. wide - flows south-south-west, with but one great bend at Samara.

At this point, where it pierces a range of limestone hills, the course of the river is very picturesque, fringed as it is by cliffs which rise woo ft. above the level of the stream (which is only 54 ft. above the sea at Samara). Along the whole of the Samara bend the Volga is accompanied on its right bank by high cliffs, which it is constantly undermining, while broad lowland areas stretch along the left or eastern bank, and are intersected by several old beds of the Volga.

At Tsaritsyn the great river reaches its extreme south-western limit, and is there separated from the Don by an isthmus only 45 m. in width. The isthmus is too high to be crossed by means of a canal, but a railway to Kalach brings the Volga into some sort of connexion with the Don and the Sea of Azov. At Tsaritsyn the river takes a sharp turn in a south-easterly direction towards the Caspian; it enters the Caspian steppes, and a few miles above Tsaritsyn sends off a branch - the Akhtuba - which accompanies it for 330 m. before falling into the Caspian. Here the Volga receives no tributaries; its right bank is skirted by low hills, but on the left it anastomoses freely with the Akhtuba when its waters are high, and floods the country for 15 to 35 m. The width of the main stream ranges from 520 to 3500 yds. and the depth exceeds 80 ft. The delta proper begins 40 m. above Astrakhan, and the branches subdivide so as to reach the sea by as many as 200 separate mouths. Below Astrakhan navigation is difficult, and on the sand-bars at the mouth the maximum depth is only 12 ft. in calm weather.

The figures given show how immensely the river varies in volume, and the greatness of the changes which are constantly going on in the channel and on its banks. Not only does its level occasionally rise in flood as much as 50 ft. and overflow its banks for a distance of 5 to 15 m.; even the level of the Caspian is considerably affected by the sudden influx of water brought by the Volga. The amount of suspended matter brought down is correspondingly great. All along its course the Volga is eroding and destroying its banks with great rapidity; towns and loading ports have constantly to be shifted farther back.

The question of the gradual desiccation of the Volga, and its causes, has often been discussed, and in 1838 a committee which included Karl Baer among its members was appointed by the Russian academy of sciences to investigate the subject. No positive result was, however, arrived at, principally on account of the want of regular measurements of the volume of the Volga and its tributaries - measurements which began to be made on scientific principles only in 1880. Still, if we go back two or three centuries, it is indisputable that rivers of the Volga basin which were easily navigable then are now hardly accessible to the smallest craft. The desiccation of the rivers of Russia has been often attributed to the steady destruction of its forests. But it is obvious that there are other general causes at work, which are of a much more important character - causes of which the larger phenomena of the general desiccation of Eastern and Western Turkestan are contemporaneous manifestations. The gradual elevation of the whole of northern Russia and Siberia, and the consequent draining of the marshes, is one of these deeper-seated, ampler causes; another is the desiccation of the lakes all over the northern hemisphere.

Table of contents


The network of shallow and still limans or "cut-offs" in the delta of the Volga and the shallow waters of the northern Caspian, freshened as these are by the water of the Volga, the Ural, the Kura and the Terek, is exceedingly favourable to the breeding of fish, and as a whole constitutes one of the most productive fishing grounds in the world. As soon as the ice breaks up in the delta innumerable shoals of roach (Leuciscus rutilus) and trout (Luciotrutta leucichthys) rush up the river. They are followed by the great sturgeon (Acipenser huso), the pike, the bream and the pike perch (Leucioperca sandra). Later on appears the Caspian herring (Clupea caspia), which formerly was neglected, but has now become more important than sturgeon; the sturgeon A. stellatus and "wels" (Silures glanis) follow, and finally the sturgeon Acipenser giildenstadtii, so much valued for its caviare. In search of a gravelly spawning-ground the sturgeon go up the river as far as Sarepta (250 m.). The lamprey, now extensively pickled, the sterlet (A. ruthenus), the tench, the gudgeon and other fluvial species also appear in immense numbers. It is estimated that 180,000 tons of fish of all kinds, of the value of considerably over £1,500,000, are taken annually in the four fishing districts of the Volga, Ural, Terek and Kura. Seal-hunting is carried on off the Volga mouth, and every year about 40,000 of Phoca vitulina are killed to the north of the Manghishlak peninsula on the east side of the Caspian.

Ice Covering

In winter the numberless tributaries and subtributaries of the Volga become highways for sledges. The ice lasts 90 to 160 days, and breaks up earlier in its upper course than in some parts lower down. The average date of the break-up is April 11 th at Tver, and 14 days later about Kostroma, from which point a regular acceleration is observed (April 16th at Kazan, April 7th at Tsaritsyn, and March 17th at Astrakhan).

Chief River

Ports on the



























Rybinsk .















Saratov .

1, 6 39

1 ,73 8






The greater part of the traffic is up river, the amount of merchandise which reaches Astrakhan being nearly fifteen times less than that reaching St Petersburg by the Volga canals. The goods transmitted in largest quantity are fish, metals, manufactured wares, hides, flax, timber, cereals, petroleum, oils and salt. The downriver traffic consists chiefly of manufactured goods and timber, the latter mostly for the treeless governments of Samara, Saratov and Astrakhan, as well as for the region adjacent to the lower course of the Don. Dredging machines are kept constantly at work, while steamers are stationed near the most dangerous sandbanks to assist vessels that run aground. The following table shows the principal river ports, with the movement of shipping in an average year :- Formerly tens of thousands of burlaki, or porters, were employed in dragging boats up the Volga and its tributaries, but this method of traction has disappeared unless from a few of the tributaries. Horse-power is still extensively resorted to along the three canal systems. The first large steamers of the American type were built in 1872. Thousands of steamers are now employed in the traffic, to say nothing of smaller boats and rafts. Many of the steamers use as fuel mazut or petroleum refuse. Large numbers of the boats and rafts are broken up after a single voyage.


The Volga was not improbably known to the early Greeks, though it is not mentioned by any writer previous to Ptolemy. According to him, the Rha is a tributary of an interior sea, formed from the confluence of two great rivers, the sources of which are separated by twenty degrees of longitude, but it is scarcely possible to judge from his statements how far the Sla y s had by that time succeeded in penetrating into the basin of the Volga. The Arab geographers throw little light on the condition of the Volga during the great migrations of the 3rd century, or subsequently under the invasion of the Huns, the growth of the Khazar empire in the southern steppes and of that of'Bulgaria on the middle Volga. But we know that in the 9th century the Volga basin was occupied by Finnish tribes in the north and by Khazars and various Turkish races in the south. The Sla y s, driven perhaps to the west, had only the Volkhov and the Dnieper, while the (Mahommedan) Bulgarian empire, at the confluence of the Volga with the Kama, was so powerful that for some time it was an open question whether Islam or Christianity would gain the upper hand among the Slav idolaters. But, while the Russians were driven from the Black Sea by the Khazars, and later on by a tide of Ugrian migration from the north-east, a stream of Sla y s moved slowly towards the north-east, down the upper Oka, into the borderland between the Finnish and Turkish regions. After two centuries of struggle the Russians succeeded in colonizing the fertile valleys of the Oka basin; in the 12th century they built a series of fortified towns on the Oka and Klyazma; and finally they reached the mouth of the Oka, there founding (in 1222) a new Novgorod - the Novgorod of the Lowlands, now Nizhniy-Novgorod. The great lacustrine depression of the middle Volga was thus reached; and when the Mongol invasion of 1239-42 came, it encountered in the Oka basin a dense agricultural population with many fortified and wealthy towns - a population which the Mongols found they could conquer, indeed, but were unable to drive before them as they had done so many of the Turkish tribes.

This invasion checked but did not stop the advance of the Russians down the Volga. Two centuries elapsed before the Russians covered the 300 m. which separate the mouths of the Oka and the Kama and took possession of Kazan. But in the meantime a flow of Novgorodian colonization had moved eastward, along the upper portions of the left-bank tributaries of the Volga, and had reached the Urals.

With the capture of Kazan (1552) the Russians found the lower Volga open to their boats, and eight years afterwards they were masters of the mouth of the river at Astrakhan. Two centuries more elapsed before the Russians secured a free passage to the Black Sea and became masters of the Sea of Azov and the Crimea; the Volga, however, was their route. During these two centuries they fortified the lower river, settled it, and penetrated farther eastward into the steppes towards the upper Ural and thence to the upper parts of the Tobol and other great Siberian rivers.


P. P. Semenov's Geographical and Statistical Dictionary (5 vols., St Petersburg, 1863-85) contains a full bibliography of the Volga and tributaries. See also V. Ragozin's Volga (3 vols., St Petersburg, 1880-81, with atlas; in Russian); N. Bogolyubov, The Volga from Tver to Astrakhan (Russian, 1876); H. Roskoschny, Die Wolga and ihre Zufiitsse (Leipzig, 1887, vol. i.), history, ethnography, hydrography and biography, with rich bibliographical information; N. Bogusla y skiy, The Volga as a Means of Communication (Russian, 1887), with detailed profile and maps; Peretyatkovich, Volga Region in the 15th and 16th Centuries (1877); and Lender, Die Wolga (1889). (P. A. K.; J. T. BE.)

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  1. (geography) The longest river in Europe, flowing 2325 miles through western Russia to the Caspian Sea.



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