The Dnieper (UK: /( ) /, US: //)other names is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and Belarus and the fourth-longest river in Europe. The total length is approximately 2,200 km (1,400 mi) with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres (195,000 sq mi). Historically, the river was an important barrier, dividing Ukraine into right and left banks. Nowadays, 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.
The name Dnieper may be derived either from Sarmatian Dānu apara "the river on the far side" or from Scythian Dānu apr (Dānapr) "deep river." By way of contrast, the name Dniester either derives from "the close river" or from a combination of Scythian Dānu (river) and Ister, the Thracian name for the Dniester.
In the languages of the three countries it flows through it has essentially the same name, albeit with different pronunciations:
The total length of the river is variously given as 2,145 kilometres (1,333 mi) or 2,201 km (1,368 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 km2 (45,700 sq mi) are within Belarus.
The source of the Dnieper is the sedge bogs (Akseninsky Mokh) 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. Its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakiv.
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.
The water resources of the Dnieper basin compose around 80% out of all Ukraine.
Dnieper Rapids were part of trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, first mentioned in the Kiev Chronicle[clarification needed]. The route was probably established in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and gained significant importance from the tenth until the first third of the eleventh century. On the Dnieper the Varangians had to portage their ships round seven rapids, where they had to be on guard for Pecheneg nomads.
Along this middle flow of the Dnieper, there were nine major rapids (although some sources cite a fewer number of them), obstructing almost the whole width of the river, about 30–40 smaller rapids, obstructing only part of the river, and about 60 islands and islets.
After Dnieper Hydroelectric Station was built in 1932, they were inundated by Dnieper Reservoir.
There are a number of canals connected to the Dnieper:
The first constructed was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station (or DniproHES) near Zaporizhia, built between 1927 and 1932 with an output of 558 MW. It was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW.
|Location||Dam||Reservoir area||Hydroelection station||Date of construction|
|Kiev||Kiev Reservoir||922 km2 or 356 sq mi||Kiev Hydroelectric Station||1960–1964|
|Kaniv||Kaniv Reservoir||675 km2 or 261 sq mi||Kaniv Hydroelectric Station||1963–1975|
|Kremenchuk||Kremenchuk Reservoir||2,250 km2 or 870 sq mi||Kremenchuk Hydroelectric Station||1954–1960|
|Kamianske||Kamianske Reservoir||567 km2 or 219 sq mi||Middle Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant||1956–1964|
|Zaporizhia||Dnieper Reservoir||420 km2 or 160 sq mi||Dnieper Hydroelectric Station||1927–1932; 1948|
|Kakhovka||Kakhovka Reservoir||2,155 km2 or 832 sq mi||Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station||1950–1956|
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):
Almost 2,000 km (1,200 mi) of the river is navigational (to the city of Dorogobuzh). 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 ft × 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 any ship lock near the town of Brest, Belarus, has interrupted this international waterway. Poor political relations between Western Europe and Belarus mean there is little likelihood of reopening this waterway in the near future. River navigation is interrupted each year by freezing in winter, and severe winter storms.
The River Dnieper has been a subject of chapter X of a story by Nikolai Gogol A Terrible Vengeance (1831, published in 1832 as a part of the Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka short stories collection). It is considered as a classical example of description of the nature in Russian literature. The river was also described in the works of Taras Shevchenko.
Ice in the Dnieper by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1872
Moonlit Night on the Dnieper by Arkhip Kuindzhi, 1882
Dnieper by Arkhip Kuindzhi, 1881
Sapphire Dnieper by Jan Stanisławski, 1904
Nowadays the Dnieper River suffers from anthropogenic influence and obtain numerous emissions of pollutants. The Dnieper is close to the Prydniprovsky Chemical Plant radioactive dumps (near Kamianske), and susceptible to leakages of radioactive waste. The river is also close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station (Chernobyl Exclusion Zone) that is located next to the mouth of the Prypiat River.
The importance of Chernobyl' for Soviet industry is best illustrated by comparing it to the key energy project of Stalin's industrialization, the famous Dnieper hydroelectric station, completed in 1932. The largest European hydroelectric station of its time, it had a capacity of 560 MW.