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Berezina River
Berezina River.JPG
Berezina River in Belarus
Native nameБярэзіна  (Belarusian)
Physical characteristics
 • locationBelarus
 • coordinates
52°32′59″N 30°15′00″E / 52.54972°N 30.25000°E / 52.54972; 30.25000Coordinates: 52°32′59″N 30°15′00″E / 52.54972°N 30.25000°E / 52.54972; 30.25000
Length561 km (349 mi)[1]
Basin size24,500 km2 (9,500 sq mi)[1]
Basin features
ProgressionDnieperDnieper–Bug estuaryBlack Sea

The Berezina or Biarezina[2] (Belarusian: Бярэ́зіна; pronounced [bʲaˈrɛzʲinɐ]) is a river in Belarus and a right tributary of the Dnieper. The river starts in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve. The length of the Berezina is 613 km. The width of the river is 15-20 m, the maximum is 60 m. The banks are low (up to 0.5 m), steep in some areas (up to 1.5 m high), sandy, and the floodplain is swampy. Berezina freezes usually in the 1st half of December.

Biarezinskiy District

Its main tributaries are Bobr, Klyava, Ol'sa and Ala [be; ru] from the left and Hayna and Svislach from the right.[3] The Berezina Biosphere Preserve by the river is on the UNESCO list of Biosphere Preserves. Peat bogs cover 430 km² and thus occupy an important part of the reserve. These open peat zones have remained virtually untouched and are among Europe's largest bogs.

The Berezina in Studzionka (January 2015)

Cities and towns on the Berezina from north to south

Historical significance[edit]

  • Charles XII of Sweden's army crossed the Berezina on June 25, 1708, during his campaign against Peter the Great of Russia in the Great Northern War. (see ISBN 0-306-80863-3 for details)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte's army suffered heavy losses (about 50,000) when they were crossing the Berezina in November, 1812, during the retreat from Russia (see Battle of Berezina). Since then "Berezina" is used in French as a synonym for catastrophe. Charles Joseph Minard § The map of Napoleon's Russian campaign for a visual graphic of the army's fate
  • Several armies in German Wehrmacht Army Group Centre were entrapped and prevented from crossing the Berezina in June 1944, during the envelopment phases of the Bobruysk and Minsk Offensives, within the closing phases of Operation Bagration in World War II.
  • There were military actions between Germany and Russia at the Berezina River in 1917–1918.[citation needed]
  • Several battles are named after the river.


  1. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  2. ^ official transliteration
  3. ^ Березина, Great Soviet Encyclopedia