10 longest rivers in Russia

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

The territory of Russia is rich in water resources of all types, and the number of different rivulets and huge rivers simply cannot be counted. In general, the figure reaches 2.5 million and most of the reservoirs cannot boast of impressive size. But there are those who can boldly compete with the world's giants, impressing with their power, beauty and, of course, size. Here are ten of the longest rivers in Russia.

Water giants of Russia: top 10 longest rivers

Nomination a place name Length
Overview of the longest rivers in Russia 10 Ural 2428 KM.
9 Ishim 2450 KM.
8 Vilyui 2650 KM.
7 Amur 2824 KM.
6 Lower Tunguska 2990 KM.
5 Yenisei 3487 KM.
4 Volga 3530 KM.
3 Ob 3660 KM.
2 Irtysh 4212 KM.
1 Lena 4260 km


Rating: 4.1


Length: 2,428 km

Our top ten is opened by one of the largest rivers in Russia. The first mentions of this freshwater reservoir appeared in the 5th century: the ancient Greek historian Herodotus mentioned it in his 'History' under the name Lycos. Since the 10th century, the Ural is mentioned under various names in many travel notes. The Ural originates in the mountains of the same name, moving southerly from the slopes of the Kruglaya Sopka to the Caspian Sea.

The annual amount of precipitation along the entire length of this long river does not exceed 500 mm, most of them in the form of snow. We can say that the moisture in the river basin is too weak, and, nevertheless, the fluctuations in the water level in the Urals are quite significant, and during the spring flood the water level rises by 10 m.

Unfortunately, not far from the river coast, over a considerable length of the reservoir, there are many industrial facilities that have a negative impact on the state of the water: the 2 tributaries of the Urals, the Ilek and Blyava rivers, are especially distinguished by the degree of pollution. the content of zinc and copper in water exceeds the permissible norm by 100 times.


Rating: 4.2


Length: 2,450 km

The longest tributary of the Irtysh, the Ishim River, is located in the Asian part of the country, and also passes through the territory of Kazakhstan. According to legend, the reservoir got its name from the name of the Tatar Khan – the son of Kuchim who drowned in it. There is also an alternative version: translated from Tatar 'ishmak' means 'destructive'. And this is not far from the truth, because, despite its relatively modest size, Ishim is capable of causing significant damage to the shores made of loose rock.

The river originates in the mountains and feeds mainly on snow (more than 80% of the water flow). The high water in Ishim is short (no longer than 40 days), the water level during this period rises to 8-10 m. By the last decade of October, a stable ice cover forms on the river, which persists for 5 months.

Ishim is considered an important waterway for the Tyumen and Omsk regions of Russia, as well as neighboring Kazakhstan. A significant part of the river basin has been plowed for sowing grain and vegetables, and the Ishim floodplain is a valuable pasture. There are several large settlements on the river (including the capital of Kazakhstan) and numerous villages. Ishim is one of the most important sources of water supply for the surrounding areas: the more acute is the problem of water shortage and its significant pollution.


Rating: 4.3


Length: 2,650 km

Representative of the Far East in our rating and the longest tributary of the Lena River. It flows through the territory of Siberia, Krasnoyarsk Territory and ends its 'path' in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Translated from the Yakut language, the name means 'swamp', which accurately characterizes the river in its lower reaches.

The discovery of the reservoir took place only in the 17th century, when a Cossack winter hut was formed on the site of the present city of Vilyuisk. In the 18th century, the city of Olensk was built on the river by exiled participants of the Pugachev rebellion, which was renamed in 1821 to its present name. It was this city that became a place of exile for the Decembrist Muravyov-Apostol, the Ukrainian poet Grabowski and the famous Russian revolutionary, writer, philosopher Chernyshevsky. By the way, the latter spent 11 years of his life in the then prison.

Vilyui is rich in valuable resources: it is the only river in the Lena basin that has been used in hydropower for more than half a century. By the end of December, the river usually freezes: a motionless layer of ice lies on its surface for 7 months.


Rating: 4.4


Length: 2824 km

The river is located on a kind of natural border between the northeastern part of China and the Far Eastern region of Russia. The Amur flows for almost 3000 km to the northwest of the Pacific Ocean, then flows into the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The long river is rich in a variety of vegetation zones that wildly fill most of its coast: there are mixed forests, meadow steppes, taiga, swamps and even tundra.

The Amur wetlands are the most valuable resource of the reservoir: this huge ecosystem is home to many species of flora and fauna. The river basin has become a haven for millions of migratory birds, 70 species of mammals and about 5,000 plant species. Even rare animals are found here. Among them are the Amur tiger and the Far Eastern leopard – the most iconic animals in the region.

This is another representative of the Asian part of the country and one of the largest rivers in the world. The Amur basin is located in a temperate climatic zone. Monsoons are considered a characteristic feature of the river: precipitation prevails in the summer, softening the continental climate. Amur is known for its long flood, lasting up to six months. As a result, floods are frequent. The most extreme happened in the summer of 2013. The highest water level during that period exceeded the historical maximum by 2 meters.

Lower Tunguska

Rating: 4.5

Lower Tunguska

Length: 2990 km

The right tributary of one of the longest and largest rivers in Russia is located in the Asian part of the country. The basin of the Lower Tunguska boasts a colossal number of lakes – more than 17,000, their total area reaches 1,817 km2. The river is characterized by significant seasonal fluctuations in the water level: during the flood period, the level sometimes rises to 5-6 m, at which time 3/4 of the annual water flow passes. June is considered the most abundant.

In 1911, a project was developed to connect the rivers Nizhnyaya Tunguska and Lena in the area of ​​the settlement of Kirensk (present-day Irkutsk region). In that area, the distance between the reservoirs did not exceed 15 km, only the height of their flow was different. The project was never implemented due to inexpediency: it was considered too expensive and complicated.

Today, the issue of construction in the basin of Nizhnyaya Tunguska of the Evenk hydroelectric power station is being actively discussed, which, if implemented, will become the largest hydroelectric power plant in the country in history and one of the largest in the world.

Interesting fact. The Russian writer Shishkov in his novel 'Gloomy River' could have used the Lower Tunguska as a prototype for a reservoir: this is the name under which it is mentioned in an old Siberian song.


Rating: 4.6


Length: 3487 km

The mighty river of Siberia and the natural border between its eastern and western parts. The Yenisei is calm throughout its course. It moves mainly on flat terrain, passing through the taiga. Its banks are asymmetrical: the right one rises five times over the left one. The river is fed 50% by snow, the rest is provided by heavy rains. The Yenisei passes through the whole of Siberia, 'meeting' each of the climatic zones of this region on its way.

The highlight of the reservoir can be considered the diversity of coastal fauna, which is represented by radically different species. For example, on the banks of the Yenisei, you can meet both polar bears and camels.

The annual water withdrawal from the Yenisei is quite large – more than 3,500 million m3, while the return in the form of wastewater (most of which does not undergo treatment at all) is only 2,800 million m3. This does not in the best way affect the quality composition of water, making it unusable not only for drinking, but also for household needs. For example, below Krasnoyarsk, an unfavorable radiation background was noted.


Rating: 4.7


Length: 3530 km

The fourth place in our rating and the longest river in Europe. Its source is in the Tver region. The Volga boasts a truly colossal basin, covering 2/3 of the European part of the country (more than 1.36 million km2). There are many settlements and 11 large cities of Russia (including Moscow) along the Volga basin.

A significant part of the river bed runs along the border with Kazakhstan, and then flows into the Caspian Sea. And, although the Volga cannot be called the longest in the country, it is considered one of its symbols: the river is mentioned in many works of art by both Russian and foreign authors, it is found in paintings, etc.

Interesting fact. Many experts are still skeptical about the fact that the Volga is called a river. The fact is that the Kama tributary flows into it, the length of which to the point of confluence with the Volga is greater than the length of the Volga itself to the point of confluence. Therefore, according to the rules, the Volga should be called an inflow.


Rating: 4.8


Length: 3660 km

The well-known West Siberian reservoir, one of the most water-bearing rivers in Russia, the largest in area in the country and in fourth place in the world for the same indicator. The result of the confluence of the Katun and Biy rivers. The Ob is characterized by a significant change in the level of its high water throughout the year, since the basis of its nutrition is melt water, which is formed in huge quantities in the spring.

The hydropower reserves of the river basin are considered colossal – 250 billion kW / h, but at present, among the functioning hydroelectric power plants, only Novosibirskaya is. The Volga is rich in fish, including commercial fish: 35 out of 50 species living here are such. The most valuable among them are sterlet, sturgeon, whitefish, pike, burbot, etc. In addition, 430 plant species grow along the river basin, 260 bird species live.

The climate of the Volga basin changes significantly as one moves from north to south. The northern regions have a temperate climate: winters are cold, snowy, and summers are warm, with an abundance of precipitation. In the southern regions, winters are milder, but summers are very hot, with a minimum of precipitation.


Rating: 4.9


Length: 4212 km

The origins of the Irtysh are lost somewhere on the Sino-Mongolian border, and the upper part of its basin is located in the Altai Mountains. The river flows through Russian territory mainly in a wide valley. The mountainous part of the Irtysh is fed mainly by melted glacial waters. The lower course feeds on rainwater, partly melted. Groundwater also plays a significant role.

For a long time, the reservoir has been used as one of the most important waterways connecting the south and north of Siberia with Kazakhstan. Its basin contains 11 natural areas of federal importance with a protected status (including 2 state reserves). Several large cities are located on the river banks: Omsk, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Tobolsk, etc.

In length, the Irtysh is considered the largest tributary of the Ob, and the Ob-Irtysh water system is one of the longest on the planet – 5410 km. The water in the river is fresh, soft, and, unfortunately, in some areas, highly polluted. One of the most affected is the site near the city of Semey, from the coastal rivers of which tons of household waste are discharged into the Irtysh, as well as the area from the village of Tatarka to the village of Cherlak, polluted with oil products.


Rating: 5.0


Length: 4260 km

The longest river in Russia and one of the largest on the planet. Lena originates from Lake Baikal, is formed by many streams and, leisurely passing a large territory of the east of the country, flows into the Laptev Sea. And, although this river is northern, only a small part of it freezes in winter. The upper reaches of the Lena River have one peculiarity: about 13% of the water flowing here is of underground origin. About a third of all waters filling the river are melted snow.

Part of the river basin can boast of one natural feature: the famous Lena Pillars – natural rock formations that actually form steep banks – run along the banks. In the area of ​​the mouth, the Lena forms a downright huge delta with an area of ​​about 45,000 km2 – the largest in the Arctic (one of the largest on the planet) and the most extensive part of wildlife protected by law.

In addition, the river delta in the spring is an important place for birds arriving here to nest and for migration, as well as a significant support for a rich fish population. Lena's productive wetlands have become a real home for swans, plovers, sandpipers, snipe, terns, gulls and many birds of prey.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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