Volga River is the longest river
in Europe. Its basin lies entirely within the Russian federation. It is
often called Mother Volga by the Russians. It is thought of as the life
blood of Russia . Over 40% of Russia's people live near it and it's tributaries
and half of Russia's farmers live and farm near the Volga. Over half of
Russia's industry is located within its drainage. Because of the building
of dams for hydroelectric power, the Volga is navigable for most of it's
2,293 km (3,692m) length.
But the river has suffered because it can not flush itself out and so it suffers from pollution. The Volga rises or starts northwest of Moscow in the Valdei Hills. From there it flows north above Moscow, and then south and southeast to the Caspian Sea. The Volga flows through the Russian autonomous regions of Churashia, Mari El, and Tartarstan. It's basin is broad and often swampy as it flows through low hills that are the leftover piles of rock and dirt (moraines) of glaciers.
Where it starts the weather is similar to the midwest in the U.S. , cold winters and hot summers. But near it's end in the Caspian sea the weather is more like the southwest U.S., hot and dry. At the Caspian Sea the Volga is an important source of water for the sea and its famous sturgeon fishery. The Beluga sturgeon is the largest fish found in the Volga. But the water that flows into the Caspian has been used many times upstream by the factories and the farmers.
There are many languages spoken here but the tongue that unites them all is Russian . There have been many wars fought along the banks and on the waters of the Volga. And there still are groups of ethnic minorities from those wars (Tartars and Mongols) as well as various native peoples (Mari El) and German immigrants from Europe.
We are honored to have Professor Victor Misenzhnikov from Kiev, Russia. Click here to learn more about him.
Click here for an interesting web page and trivia questions to test your knowledge!!
for Global Environmental Education