Russian River Names

The largest Russian rivers.

Russian rivers are so large that their exploration was uneven. Rivers were studied not from the mouth of the river to its head, but at different points at once. Therefore, over time, already established names of rivers created unusual situations. For example, when the confluent of a river was longer than the river itself. There was also an issue with which confluent to choose, because the heads of confluents were lost in remote places, and shooting from the air or from space in the conditions of northern Russia only partially help.

And yes, our list does not coincide with Wikipedia (at the moment when this was written).

Here is the list of Russian river names indicating their length – the largest rivers in Russia:

1. Ob River with Its Confluent Irtysh River

Ob River flows through the territory of Western Siberia and disgorges into the Kara Sea in the north.

The length of the Ob River is 5,410 kilometers, while the length of the tributary – the Irtysh River – is 4248 km. Irtysh River – is the longest tributary in the world.

On the list of the largest rivers of Russia Ob River takes the first place, and on the list of the largest rivers of the planet – according to various sources, it takes fifth or sixth place in length.

The view from an airplane of the Ob River during the ice drift

The view from an airplane of the Ob River during the ice drift. фотобанк Лори

On the banks of the Ob River there is the largest city in Siberia, the unofficial capital of Siberia – the city of Novosibirsk. Novosibirsk lies on two sides of the river. Local meridian used to lie in the middle of the river – and the time on the opposite sides of the city differed by 1 hour. But that did not cause any inconvenience, because the two parts of the city lived detached. Only in 1995 a bridge was built over the Ob River and only then the same time for the whole Novosibirsk was set.

The origin of the name Ob has different versions. In Persian Ob means “river.” According to another version, residents of Novgorod while equipping expeditions to Siberia, took as their guides representatives of the Siberian Komi people (another name – Zyrians), who then gave the name to the river Ob, which is translated from the Komi language as “snow water”. Another translation of the name Ob from the language of the Komi people – “grandmother”, that is the progenitor of all the Russian rivers. This is the most original name of a river among all Russian river names.

The name of the Irtysh River in the language of the northern people Kets, who live in the middle of the river, literally means a “wild river”.

2. Yenisei River with Its Tributary the Angara River, Lake Baikal and the Selenga River with its Tributary Ider

The length of the Yenisei River includes:

  • The area of the Yenisei River from the confluence of the Angara River to the mouth of the Yenisei – 2137 km.
  • The length of the Angara River from Lake Baikal to the Yenisei River – 1,779 km.
  • The length of the Selenga River, which flows into Lake Baikal, from the mouth of the largest tributary of the Selenga River – Ider – 1024 km.
  • On Lake Baikal the distance between the mouth of the Selenga River and the beginning of the Angara River is 151 km.

Thus the length of the Yenisei River with its tributaries is about 5091 km (Wikipedia – at the moment of writing this – as usual, contains a mistake: it doesn’t take into account that the length of the Selenga River is counted already from the head the Ider River, which means that the length of the Ider River was counted twice).

That means that the Yenisei River is the second largest river in Russia (it is not the largest river in Russia, according to Wikipedia) and according to various sources it is sixth or seventh in the world in length.

The name of the Yenisei River in the translation from indigenous languages ​​means “big water”.

Maximum width of the Yenisei River is not at its mouth, but near Brekhovsky Islands – 75 km. That is, from the middle of the river you cannot see its shores.

The name of the Angara River, according to one version may be derived from the Evenki language – “inner corner” – because indeed, the Angara river flows from “around the corner” in the western part of Lake Baikal. According to another version – when translated it means “the place where the deer collected moss” – a winter pasture. On the shores of Lake Baikal in winter it is much warmer than in the surrounding areas and less snow.

Angara is the only water flowing out of the deepest lake on the planet – Lake Baikal.

In its head the Angara River never freezes, although at that time Lake Baikal is covered with ice. This is due to the fact that water drawn from the depths of Lake Baikalinto the Angara River and the water at the depths in winter is warmer than at the surface.

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