Sea of Azov

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Sea of Azov, Gr. Maiotis, Lat. Palus Maeotis, ancient Rus. Surozhskoye, northern arm of the Black Sea, c.14,000 sq mi (36,300 sq km), shared by S European Russia and E Ukraine. The shallow sea (maximum depth 45 ft/13 m) is connected with the Black Sea by the Kerch Strait. Its chief arms are the Gulf of Taganrog (in the northeast) and the Sivash Sea (in the west), which is nearly isolated from the Sea of Azov by Arabat Tongue, a narrow sandspit. The Don and Kuban rivers flow into the sea, supplying it with an abundance of freshwater but also depositing the silt that tends to make the sea more shallow. The Sea of Azov has important fisheries and accounts for a large portion of the freshwater catch of Russia and Ukraine. The major ports are Rostov-na-Donu, Taganrog, Zhdanov, Kerch, and Berdyansk. The sea's importance increased with the opening of the Volga–Don Canal; the Manych Canal connects the Sea of Azov with the Caspian Sea.

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Azov, Sea of (Azovskoye More) Northern arm of the Black Sea. A shallow sea with only slight salinity, it has fishing ports on its e and s coasts. The marshes and lagoons at the w (Crimean peninsula) end were so noxious that the sea was known as Sivash (putrid lake). Area: 37,607sq km (14,520sq mi).