The Volga (/ /,; Russian: Во́лга, IPA: [ˈvoɫɡə] (listen)) is the longest river in Europe. Situated in Russia, it flows through Central Russia to Southern Russia and into the Caspian Sea. The Volga has a length of 3,531 km (2,194 mi), and a catchment area of 1,360,000 km2 (530,000 sq mi). It is also Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and of drainage basin. It is widely regarded as the national river of Russia. The old Russian state, the Rus' Khaganate, arose along the Volga between the late-8th and mid-9th centuries AD. Historically, the river served as an important meeting place of various Eurasian civilizations.
|Cities||Tver, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Cheboksary, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, Astrakhan|
|• location||Valdai Hills, Tver Oblast|
|• elevation||228 m (748 ft)|
|−28 m (−92 ft)|
|Length||3,531 km (2,194 mi)|
|Basin size||1,360,000 km2 (530,000 sq mi)|
|• average||8,060 m3/s (285,000 cu ft/s)|
|• minimum||5,000 m3/s (180,000 cu ft/s)|
|• maximum||48,500 m3/s (1,710,000 cu ft/s)|
Some of the largest reservoirs in the world are located along the Volga. The river has a symbolic meaning in Russian culture - Russian literature and folklore often refer to it as Волга-матушка Volga-Matushka (Mother Volga).