views updated May 17 2018

Volga Europe's longest river, at 3750km (2330mi), in e European Russia. The river rises in the Valdai Hills, then flows e past Rzhev to Kazan, where it turns s. It continues sw to Volgograd, and then se to enter the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan. The Volga connects to the Baltic Sea by the Volga-Baltic Waterway, to Moscow by the Moscow Canal, and to the Sea of Azov (and the Black Sea) by the Volga-Don Canal. Many dams and hydroelectric power stations lie along its course. Navigable for c.3550km (2200mi), it carries about two-thirds of Russia's river freight traffic.