(in its upper course, the Tokmak), a river in Zaporozh’e Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Length, 197 km; basin area, 3,450 sq km.
The Molochnaia River originates in the Azov Upland and flows into the Molochnyi Estuary of the Sea of Azov, meandering in its lower course. The Molochnaia is primarily snow-fed and subject to summer and especially to autumn and winter flooding. Average discharge at the river’s mouth is 2.1 cu m per sec. In certain years it may dry up or freeze over entirely. Many ponds are found in the river’s basin.
The cities of Tokmak, Molochansk, and Melitopol’ are located on the Molochnaia. During the Great Patriotic War, fascist German troops formed a strong defensive line along the Molochnaia; in October 1943, after bitter fighting, the line was breached by troops of the Fourth Ukrainian Front during the Melitopol’ operation.