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a river in the Ukrainian SSR and the Moldavian SSR, part of which flows along the border between the two republics. Length, 1,352 km; basin area, 72,100 sq km.
The Dnestr rises on the northern slopes of the Carpathians at an altitude of about 900 m and empties into the Dnestr estuary of the Black Sea. In its upper course (as far as the city of Galich) it flows through a deep, narrow valley, and is a typical fast mountain river (rate of flow, 2-2.5 m per sec). The Dnestr receives many tributaries in its upper reaches, primarily from the right. The biggest of these is the Stryi, and all of them rise on the slopes of the Carpathians. Below the city of Galich, the Dnestr is calmer, but its valley remains narrow and deep. In the middle course of the river all of its tributaries come from the left: the Zolotaia Lipa, Strypa, Seret, Zbruch, Smotrich, and Murafa.
Below Mogilev-Podol’skii the valley widens a little, narrowing only when the spurs of the Podol’e Upland approach the river. There are small rapids in the river’s course. The Dubossar Hydroelectric Power Plant was built in 1954 near the city of Dubossar, forming the Dubossar Reservoir. Below the city of Tiraspol’ the river flows through the Black Sea lowlands, and its valley widens to between 8 and 16 km. The Reut, Byk, and Botna empty into the Dnestr from the left in its lower reaches.
The Dnestr is fed by snow and rain. Torrential summer rains often make the water level of the Dnestr rise suddenly, frequently causing floods. The average annual discharge is 8.7 cu km. The rate of flow, which is about 310 cu m per sec near the city of Bendery, has a maximum of about 2,500 cu m per sec and a minimum of 14.7 cu m per sec. The ice on the Dnestr often turns to ice floes, and during warm winters the river does not freeze at all. There is regular navigation from Soroki to Dubossar and from Dubossar to the mouth of the river. The main ports on the Dnestr are Mogilev-Podol’skii, Soroki, Bendery, and Tiraspol’.