By far the longest river in Europe is the Volga, which flows 2,300 miles through Russia from its source in the Valdai Hills to the Caspian Sea. The River Danube, which is the second longest river in Europe, is 575 miles shorter.
The Volga drains the water from an area of more than half a million square miles. Its slow-moving waters make it a magnificent waterway, for it is almost as easy to sail against its current as to follow it downstream. The river is frozen in winter and dangerous when the ice melts because of ice floes. In the summer it sometimes becomes shallow because of the dry weather.
The fisheries of the Volga were important to Russia, as much of the country is far from the sea. Oil from the Caspian oilfields and wheat from the steppes the southern part of Russia used to be taken up the Volga to the industrial towns of the north. Timber, grain, machinery and tools were brought down it from the north. Many canals have been made to link the Volga with other rivers. It is joined in this way to several rivers draining to the Black Sea and to the Baltic and the White seas. River steamers from the Volga are able to reach the heart of Moscow.
Copyright, license and article source information.
Reproduced and/or adapted for educational purposes.