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The volga river, long characterized as “Mother Volga” and renowned as the cultural heart of Russia, rises in the Valdai Hills northeast of Moscow and runs 2,300 miles in a sweeping arc to the south before reaching its complex delta on the Caspian Sea. The Volga is fed by more than 200 tributaries and drains a watershed comprising 40 percent of European Russia, that portion of the country reaching from its western boundaries to the Ural Mountains. The vast Volga watershed embraces 40 percent of the Russian population, 45 percent of the country's industry, and half of Russia's major agricultural sector. An important transportation route in Russia for centuries, the Volga has been compared to the Great Lakes in North America for its key ...

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