Volga River

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The Volga (Russian: Во́лга, IPA: [ˈvolɡə]  ( listen)) is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including its capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage basin. Some of the largest reservoirs in the world can be found along the Volga.

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Nomenclature

The Russian hydronym Волга is akin to the old Mari name of the river - Volgydo, meaning "bright".[citation needed] The Mari people are considered as the first people in Volga.[citation needed] Presently the Mari call the river Юл (Jul), meaning "way" in Tatar. The name volgydo descends from Proto-Finno-Ugric *valkita, meaning "white" or "bright". Russians explain that Volga comes from the Slavic word for "wetness", "humidity" (влага, волога).[2] The Russian name is transliterated as Volga in English and Wolga in German. Another possible origin of the name is from the name of the largest community that occupied large areas around it in the past - the Proto-Bulgarians.

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