The Volga River forms a significant portion of the eastern boundary of our geocultural province of Slavia. The Don River, another in Slavia, lies to its west.
The Don springs from the ground 720 feet (220 m) above sea level in the city of Novomoskovsk, Russia, 125 miles (201 km) south of Moscow and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the city of Tula. It curves in a semicircular way as it flows south and east following the eastern edge of the range of rolling hills known as the Central Russian Upland. It gets closest to the Volga a mere 40 miles (64 km) from Volgograd and has been connected at that point to the great river by canal since 1952. The Don then veers southwest and, after a total journey of 1160 miles (1868 km), empties into the Sea of Azov at Rostov-on-Don.
The Don freezes in the winter. At its northern end, ice covers the river from mid-November to mid-April; toward Rostov-on-Don, from mid-December to late March. When free of ice, ships can make their way upriver 842 miles (1356 km) to Liski.
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