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Дніпро, Dnipro, Dnieper, Днепр, Дняпро, Dnjapro
Catchment area of ​​the Dnepr in the Eastern European countries Russia, Belarus and Ukraine

Catchment area of ​​the Dnepr in the Eastern European countries
Russia, Belarus and Ukraine

location Russia , Belarus , Ukraine
River system Dnepr
Headwaters Valdai heights in Russia
55 ° 52 ′ 19 ″  N , 33 ° 43 ′ 27 ″  E
Source height 220  m BSW77
muzzle Black Sea Coordinates: 46 ° 31 ′ 33 ″  N , 32 ° 15 ′ 7 ″  E 46 ° 31 ′ 33 ″  N , 32 ° 15 ′ 7 ″  E
Mouth height 0  m above sea level Baltic Sea
Height difference 220 m
Bottom slope 0.1 ‰
length 2201 km
Catchment area 531,817 km²
Drain MQ
1670 m³ / s
Left tributaries Sosch , Desna , Trubisch , Sula , Psel , Worskla , Samara , Kinska
Right tributaries Drut , Berezina , Berezina River , Pripyat , Teteriv River , Irpin , Stuhna , Ros , Tiasmyn River , Bazavluk River , Inhulets River , Adamenka
Reservoirs flowed through Kiev Reservoir ,
Kaniv Reservoir ,
Kremenchuk Reservoir ,
Kamjansk Reservoir ,
Zaporozhye Reservoir ,
Kachowka Reservoir
Big cities Smolensk , Orsha , Mahiljou , Kiev , Cherkassy , Kremenchuk , Kamjanske , Dnipro , Zaporizhia , Nikopol , Kherson
Navigable 1,677 km
The Dnieper in Kiev

The Dnieper in Kiev

Estuary of the Dnieper near Kherson

Estuary of the Dnieper near Kherson

Dnepr in Kiev Oblast (Ukraine)

Dnepr in Kiev Oblast (Ukraine)

Location of the Dnepr basin

Location of the Dnepr basin

The Dnepr ( Russian Днепр , in German also transcribed as Dnjepr , Ukrainian Дніпро Dnipro , Belarusian Дняпро Dnjapro ) is a 2201 km long river that flows through Russia , Belarus and Ukraine . After the Volga and the Danube, it is the third longest river in Europe and, since five locks were built, it is navigable for around 1700 km.

Historical names

The Dnepr has seen a name change several times. The river Borysthénēs (from Scyth. * Varu-stāna ) was called by the early ancient Greeks and Romans , which means wide land in Scythian . H. the wild field , means. Late antiquity (since the 4th century AD) Greek- Latin texts call it Danapris or Danaper , after its Sarmatian name * dānu apara distant river . The river Var was called by the Huns ( Iord. Get . 51), which originally referred to the Kuban or one of its tributaries and is derived from the Sarmatian * var-dānu wide river ( Ptolemy V, 8, 5, Ouardánēs ). At the time of the rule of the Golden Horde on its lower reaches he received the name Usu and Ohu (cf. Crimean Tatar . Özü ), later Exi ( Tatar ), Danapros (10th century) and Lussem (16th century). The current name Dnepr is the Slavic form of the Sarmatian name. Its fore limb * dānu river is believed to be the root of the river names Danube , Dniester , Don and Donets . Because of its great importance in the Slavic world, the Dnieper is sometimes also called Slavutich Slavic River or Slavuta or Slavutyč , son of fame .


The river has its source in Russia in the Valdai Heights , about 200 kilometers west of Moscow . Near the village of Botscharowo ( Бочарово ) in the heights of Bely ( Бельская возвышенность ), between Bely and Sychovka , there is the spring area, which has been a natural monument since 1981. The source was described as early as the late 17th century. It is only a few kilometers away from the main watershed point, the Baltic Sea - Black Sea - Caspian Sea .

For the first more than 200 kilometers of the river, the Dnepr tends to flow south-south-west and, after a bend to the west, passes the Russian city of Smolensk . It reaches the Belarusian border around 60 kilometers below Smolensk . For about 15 kilometers it is the border river before it turns in a large arc to the south at Orsha and crosses the east of Belarus. The largest city that it flows through is Mogilew (Mahiljou). After a total of 400 kilometers, it reaches the Ukrainian border at Nowaja Huta and is again the border river for about 120 kilometers, up to the confluence with the Kiev reservoir , the first of several Dnepr reservoirs . The Dnepr is the main waterway of Ukraine and divides the country into a western and an eastern half, from around Kiev it initially flows to the southeast and below Kamjanske , the former Dniprodzerzhynsk, in a wide arc, the so-called Dnepr bend , to the southwest swings around. After a total of more than 1000 kilometers of river in the Ukraine, it finally flows west of Kherson over the Dnepr-Bug-Liman estuary into the Black Sea . In the lower reaches of the river, rapids made the river unsavailable for 70 km until the 19th century. In 1932 the regulation of the river south of Kiev was completed.

Navigability and economic importance

The Dnepr is navigable over a length of 1677 km . In addition to the transport of goods with cargo ships , river cruises on the Dnepr and excursions on passenger ships from the ports of the major riverside cities are offered.

Along the Dnepr there are huge reservoirs that belong to a system of state-run hydroelectric power plants (GidroElektroStanzija / GES).

At the Bend of the Dnieper, between Kamjanske and Zaporizhia , is one of the most densely populated industrial areas in Ukraine, where mainly iron is smelted .


Due to the high density of industrial plants on the Dnepr bend, air and water pollution has been very high there for more than 30 years. As a result, the region has the highest lung cancer rate in the country. The settled industry also contributes to the excessive use of water and to the drying up and silting up of many smaller streams.

The Dnieper Basin

During the drainage of its 531,817 km² catchment area, the Dnepr describes a large “S” running from north to south.

The tributaries in the Dnepr Basin form a dense network of watercourses. From the west the Dnieper is fed by the Pripyat , to the north by the Bjaresina , to the northeast by Desna and Sosch and to the east by the Psel . In the south the main river of Ukraine flows into the Black Sea.


The largest tributaries of the Dnepr are (r = right; l = left) : Drut (r), Sosch (l), Bjaresina (r), Ros (r), Prypiat (r), Irpin (r), Teteriw (r) , Desna (l), Sula (l), Tjasmyn (r), Psel (l), Worskla (l), Samara (l), Mokra Sura (r), Basawluk (r) and Inhulez (r).

Waterway network

Via the Dnepr-Bug Canal , which the Polish King Stanislaus II had built in August , there is a connection from the upper reaches of the Prypiat to the Bug and the Vistula and thus to the Baltic Sea . This Dnepr-Vistula waterway E-40 was completed in 1848 and has long been one of the most important transport routes from Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor to the north. Its importance has diminished in recent years.

A connection to the Lithuanian river system exists via the Oginsky canal system to the Memel and Pregel .

Canals not navigable

Other canals that branch off from the Dnepr and contribute to the water supply of Ukraine are the Dnepr-Donbass Canal , the Dnepr-Krywyj-Rih Canal and the over 400 km long North Crimean Canal .


In the Dnepr there are numerous river islands such as the Muromets and Truchaniv islands near Kiev, the monastery island near Dnipro and Khortyzja near Zaporizhia.


Numerous large bridges cross the Dnieper, especially in the towns on the river. An overview of the Dnepr bridges on the list of Dnepr bridges .

Reservoirs / hydropower plants

There are six large reservoirs on the Dnepr  - seen downstream, these are:

Surname completion
in MW
in km²
in km³
Kiev Reservoir 1964 235.5 922 3.73
Kaniwer reservoir 1978 444 675 2.63
Kremenchuk reservoir 1961 686.4 2252 13.52
Kamjansk Reservoir 1964 352 567 2.45
Zaporizhia reservoir 1932 1529.6 410 1.1
Kachowka Reservoir 1955 351 2155 18.2


Only the construction of six locks, in close connection with the construction of the reservoirs, made it possible to use the Dnieper better as a transport route in the 20th century. These are (downstream) the Wyschhorod lock (170 m long, lifting height 5 m), the Kanewer lock (270 m long), the Kremenchuk lock (270 m long, lifting height 16 m), the Kamjansker lock (270 m long, Lifting height 13 m), the Zaporozhye lock (old three-chamber lock , each 120 m long; or new single-chamber lock , 290 m long, lifting height 36 m) and the Kachowka lock (270 m long, lifting height 15 m).


Larger towns on the Dnieper are the cities of Smolensk , Orsha , Mahiljou , Kiev , Cherkassy , Kremenchuk , Kamjanske , Dnipro , Zaporizhia , Nikopol and Kherson . To the north of Kiev - 20 km from the Dnieper - Chornobyl on the Pripyat, which has been known worldwide since April 1986 due to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster .

See also


Web links

Commons : Dnepr  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Dnieper  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. В. Д. Блаватский: "Βορυσθενίς", in: Вестник древней истории 1968. p. 120; with source citation: M. Vasmer: Südrussland . Leipzig 1923. p. 65 ff.
  2. Iris von Bredow (Bietigheim-Bissingen): "Borysthenes", in: Der Neue Pauly . Brill Online. Accessed May 21, 2014.
  3. ^ JP Mallory and Victor H. Mair (2000). The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West . Thames and Hudson, London, p. 106.
  4. ^ The Dnipro Source. (No longer available online.) In: International Environmental Expedition along the Dnipro River from its Headwaters to the Belarus Border (Russia). UNDP-GEF Dnipro Basin Environment Program. United Nations Development Program - Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF), 2002, archived from the original on November 16, 2007 ; accessed on April 29, 2008 (English).