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a river in Pskov and Novgorod oblasts, RSFSR. Length, 530 km; basin area, 21,900 sq km. Originates in Lake Lovatets in the northeastern Byelorussian SSR and empties into Lake Il’men’, forming a vast delta, with the Pola River.
The Lovat’ is a winding river. It is fed by mixed sources, predominantly snow. Average discharge 193 km from its mouth is 105 cu m per sec. It freezes between late November and early January, and the ice breaks up in March or April. Its main tributaries are the Loknia, Red’ia, and Polist’ on the left and the Kun’ia on the right. Logs can be floated for a distance of 490 km; the Lovat’s is navigable in its lower reaches (70 km). The cities of Velikie Luki and Kholm are situated on its banks. The Old Russian trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Dnieper and Black Sea (“from the Varangians to the Greeks”) incorporated the Lovat’.