Sunzha River

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Sunzha River
Грозный река Сунжа.JPG
Sunzha River in Grozny
Country North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya, Russia
Basin features
Main source Caucasus Major, North Ossetia
River mouth Terek
Basin size 12,200 km2 (4,700 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 278 km (173 mi)
The Sunzha runs from near Vladikavkaz to near the point where the Terek turns north, cutting off the great bend of the Terek

The Sunzha (Russian: Су́нжа; IPA: [ˈsunʐə], Ingush: Шолжа, Sholʒə, Ossetian: Сунжæ, Sunžæ; IPA: [sunʒə], Chechen: Соьлжа, Sölƶa[1]) is a river in North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya, Russia, a tributary of the Terek River. It flows northeast inside the great northwest bend of the Terek River and catches most of the rivers that flow north from the mountains before they reach the Terek. It is 278 kilometres (173 mi) long. The Sunzha rises on the Northern slope of the Caucasus Major. Its major tributaries are the Assa River and Argun River. With a turbidity of 3,800 grams per cubic metre (6.4 lb/cu yd), it carries 12.2 million tons of alluvium per year. It is used for irrigation. Cities that lie on the Sunzha include Nazran, Karabulak, Grozny (the capital of Chechnya), and Gudermes. During the First and Second Chechen Wars, the destruction of petroleum reservoirs caused the Sunzha to become polluted with petroleum.[2]


The origin of the name of the river has some versions. The most probable of versions name Sunzha has come from Mongol-Turkic languages in the deformed type. It is known, that Mongols called it Suinchie, Russian Sevenz and in the Chechen language it is names has got in corrective type Solchzha.[citation needed]

There is also other version that the river Sunzha Chechens called before Okhi «Oh'-hi, Оhhи » that means in translation with Chechen – «downwards the river».[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lepiev A.S., Lepiev İ.A., Türkçe-Çeçençe sözlük, Turkoyŋ-noxçiyŋ doşam, Ankara, 2003
  2. ^ John Daniszewski (March 11, 2001). "Chechens Find a Way to Live Off the Land--Through Oil". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 

Coordinates: 43°26′27″N 46°08′05″E / 43.44083°N 46.13472°E / 43.44083; 46.13472