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Russian Waters: The Don River

All Russia-related Articles

by Nadia F., a Russian woman living in St Petersburg, Russia

The Don is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises near Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 km (1,220 miles) to the Sea of Azov.

From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh, then southwest to its mouth. The main city on the river is Rostov on Don, its main tributary the Donets.

At its easternmost point, the Don comes near the Volga, and the Volga-Don Canal (length ca. 105 km (65 miles)), connecting both rivers, is a major waterway.

This part of the river saw Operation Uranus, one of the turning points of the Second World War.

The Don was known in the times of the old Scythians as the Tanaïs, and has been a major trading route ever since. Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as the name of the river and of a city on it.

  • Length: 1950 km
  • Area: watershed 425,600 km²
  • Origin: Russia, Ukraine
  • Mouth: Sea of Azov
  • Basin countries: Russia


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