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For the rocket, see Dnepr rocket. For other uses, see Dnieper .

The Dnieper River or Dnipro River (pronounced \'nē-pər\ in English; , , pronounced Dnieper, accent on first syllable; , , , accent on second syllable; , , , accent on second syllable; ) is one of the major rivers in Europe (fourth by length) that flows from Russiamarker, through Belarusmarker and Ukrainemarker, to the Black Seamarker. Its total length is , of which lie within Russia, within Belarus, and within Ukraine. Its basin covers , of which are within Ukraine. In antiquity, it was known to the Greeks as the Borysthenes.


The Dnieper's source is the turf swamps of the Valdai Hillsmarker in central Russia, at an elevation of . For of its length, it serves as the border between Belarus and Ukraine. It is connected with the Western Bug by the Dnieper-Bug Canal. Its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakivmarker.

Tributaries of the Dnieper

The Dnieper has many tributaries. The main ones, in orographic sequence, are:

Reservoirs and Hydroelectric power

The river is famous for its dams and hydroelectric stations.The most famous was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Stationmarker or (DniproHES) near Zaporizhiamarker, built in 1927-1932 with an output of 558 MW.It was destroyed during Second World War, and rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW.The others are:Kremenchukmarker (1954–60), Kyiv (1960–64), Dniprodzerzhynskmarker (1956–64), Kanivmarker (1963–75).Those dams that used to generate hydroelectric power of ten percent of Ukraine's total electricity, form water reservoirs.The reservoirs are named as Kyivmarker ( ),Kanivmarker ( ),Kremenchukmarker ( ),Dniprodzerzhynskmarker ( ),Dniepermarker ( ),and Kakhovkamarker ( ).

Cities and towns on the Dnieper

Satellite image of the Dnieper and its tributaries.

Cities and towns located on the Dnieper are listed in order from the river's source (in Russia) to its mouth (in Ukraine):

Arheimar, a capital of the Goths, was located on the Dnieper, according to the Hervarar saga.


The Dnieper is important for the transport and economy of Ukraine: its reservoirs have large ship locks, allowing vessels of up to to access as far as the port of Kyivmarker 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 Kyiv, the Dnieper receives the water of the Pripyat River. This navigable river connects to the Dnieper-Bug canal, the link with the Western Bug river. Historically, a connection with the Western European waterways was possible, but a weir without a ship lock near the town of Brestmarker 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 name Dnieper is derived from Sarmatian "the river on the far side". (By contrast, the Dniestermarker derives from "the close river".)

In the three countries through which it flows it has essentially the same name, albeit pronounced differently, , ; , ; , .

The river is mentioned by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the fifth century BC as ( ), as well as by Strabo; this name is Scythian (cf. Iranian * ) and meant "wide land", referring most likely to the Ukrainian steppe. The late Greek and Roman authors called it - and respectively - (dana in Old Persian meant "river"); The name Dnieper probably derives from that Greek word. Its Old East Slavic name used at the time of Kievan Rus' was or , "the Slavic (river)"; the Huns called it Var, and Bulgars - Buri-Chai.

In Popular Culture

See also

References and footnotes

  1. NoorderSoft Waterways Database
  2. 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

External links

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