|Belarusian: Дняпро (Dniapro)
Russian: Днепр (Dnepr)
Ukrainian: Дніпро (Dnipro)
|Countries||Russia, Belarus, Ukraine|
|- left||Sozh, Desna, Trubizh, Supiy, Sula, Psel, Vorskla, Samara, Konka, Bilozerka|
|- right||Drut, Berezina, Prypiat, Teteriv, Irpin, Stuhna, Ros, Tiasmyn, Bazavluk, Inhulets|
|Cities||Dorogobuzh, Smolensk, Mahilyow, Kiev, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk|
|- location||Valdai Hills, Russia|
|- elevation||220 m (722 ft)|
|Length||2,145 km (1,333 mi)|
|Basin||504,000 km2 (194,595 sq mi)|
|- average||1,670 m3/s (58,975 cu ft/s)|
The Dnieper River // is one of the major rivers of Europe (fourth by length), rising near Smolensk and flowing through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. The total length is 2,145 kilometres (1,333 mi) with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres (195,000 sq mi). The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations. The Dnieper is an important navigable waterway for the economy of Ukraine and is connected via the Dnieper-Bug Canal to other waterways in Europe.
In the three countries through which it flows it has essentially the same name, albeit pronounced differently:
- Russian: Днепр (Dnepr, [dnʲɛpr]);
- Belarusian: Дняпро (Dniapro, [dnʲaˈpro]);
- Ukrainian: Днiпро (Dnipro, [dniˈpro]).
The river is mentioned by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC as Borysthenes (Βορυσθένης), as well as by Strabo; this name is Scythian (cf. Iranian *varu-stāna) and translates as "wide land", referring most likely to the Ukrainian steppe. The late Greek and Roman authors called it Δάναπρις - Danapris and Danaper respectively - (dana in Old Persian meant "river"); this form' is derived from Sarmatian Dānu apara "the river on the far side". Its Old East Slavic name used at the time of Kievan Rus' was Slavuta or Slavutych, the Huns called it Var, and Bulgars - Buri-Chai. The name in Crimean Tatar: Özü.
The total length of the river is 2,145 kilometres (1,333 mi), of which 485 km (301 mi) are within Russia, 700 km (430 mi) are within Belarus, and 1,095 km (680 mi) are within Ukraine. Its basin covers 504,000 square kilometres (195,000 sq mi), of which 289,000 km2 (112,000 sq mi) are within Ukraine, 118,360 sq mi (306,600 km2) are within Belarus.
The source of the Dnieper is the turf swamps of the Valdai Hills in central Russia, at an elevation of 220 m (720 ft). For 115 km (71 mi) of its length, it serves as the border between Belarus and Ukraine. It is connected with the Bug River by the Dnieper–Bug Canal. Its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakiv.
Tributaries of the Dnieper
Many small direct tributaries also exist, such as, in the Kiev area, the Syrets (right bank) in the north of the city, the historically significant Lybid (right bank) passing west of the centre, and the Borshahivka (right bank) to the south.
Reservoirs and hydroelectric power
The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations.
The most noted was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station or (DniproHES) near Zaporizhia, built in 1927-1932 with an output of 558 MW. It was destroyed during the Second World War, and rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW.
Those dams that used to generate hydroelectric power of ten percent of Ukraine's total electricity, form water reservoirs.
The reservoirs are Kiev (922 km2 or 356 sq mi), Kaniv (675 km2 or 261 sq mi), Kremenchuk (2,250 km2 or 870 sq mi), Dniprodzerzhynsk (567 km2 or 219 sq mi), Dnipro (420 km2 or 160 sq mi), and Kakhovka (2,155 km2 or 832 sq mi).
Cities and towns on the Dnieper
Major cities, over 100,000 in population, are in bold script. Cities and towns located on the Dnieper are listed in order from the river's source (in Russia) to its mouth (in Ukraine):
The Dnieper is important for the transport and economy of Ukraine: its reservoirs have large ship locks, allowing vessels of up to 270 by 18 metres (886 × 59 ft) to access as far as the port of Kiev and thus create an important transport corridor. The river is used by passenger vessels as well. Inland cruises on the rivers Danube and Dnieper have been a growing market in recent decades.
Upstream from Kiev, the Dnieper receives the water of the Pripyat River. This navigable river connects to the Dnieper-Bug canal, the link with the Bug River. Historically, a connection with the Western European waterways was possible, but a weir without a ship lock near the town of Brest has interrupted this international waterway. Poor political relations between Western Europe and Belarus mean there is little likelihood of re-opening this waterway in the near future.
Navigation is interrupted each year by freezing in winter, and severe winter storms.
- The river is one of the symbols of Ukrainian Nation. There are several names that connects name of the river with Ukraine: Overdnieper Ukraine, Right-bank Ukraine, Left-bank Ukraine, others.
- Some of the cities on its banks -- Dnipropetrovsk, Dniprorudne, Kamianka-Dniprovska—are named after the river.
- The Zaporozhian Cossacks lived on the lower Dniepr and their name refers to their location "beyond the cataracts."
- Folk metal band Turisas have a song called "The Dnieper Rapids" on their 2007 album The Varangian Way.
- Leon Bolier featured a track called "Dnipro" in his debut 2-CD album Pictures. The track is said to be inspired by his visit to Kiev in May 2008.
- The river is described in the works of Taras Shevchenko as Dnipro (He roars and groans the Dnipro wide) and mentioned in the National anthem of Ukraine.
- The river is referred to as Dnipro, in the song Hey, Dnipro, Dnipro.
- Briefly mentioned in the Sci-Fi/Adventure novel The Crisis Pendant by Charlie Patterson.
- Roberto Bolaño's novel 2666 features the Dnieper as a significant feature of the village of Hans Reiter
- Threat of the Dnieper reservoirs
- List of rivers of Russia
- List of rivers of Ukraine
- Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks
References and footnotes
- "Main Geographic Characteristics of the Republic of Belarus. Main characteristics of the largest rivers of Belarus". Land of Ancestors. Data of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Mallory, J.P. and Victor H. Mair. The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. London: Thames and Hudson, 2000. p. 106
- Jordanes, Getica 269.
- Kubiyovych, Volodymyr; Ivan Teslia. "Dnieper River". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved January 19, 2007.
- "Main Geographic Characteristics of the Republic of Belarus. Coordinates of the extreme points of the state frontier". Land of Ancestors. The Scientific and Production State Republican Unitary Enterprise “National Cadastre Agency” of the State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- An English translation of Hervar saga by Kershaw, via webarchive
- NoorderSoft Waterways Database
- Work on the subject Ukrainian national symbols. Library of Ukrainian literature.
- "...the Zaporohjans whose name meant 'those who live beyond the cataracts'...", Henryk Sienkiewicz, With Fire and Sword, chap. 7
- Hey, Dnipro, Dnipro (youtube)
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