Last updated
Dniester [1]
Rîbnița and the Dniester river
Dniester map.png
Map of the Dniester basin
Country Ukraine, Moldova
Cities Tiraspol, Bender, Rîbnița, Drohobych
Physical characteristics
 - location Ukrainian Carpathians
 - coordinates 49°12′44″N22°55′40″E / 49.21222°N 22.92778°E / 49.21222; 22.92778
 - elevation900 m (3,000 ft)
Mouth Black Sea
 - location
Odessa Oblast
 - coordinates
46°21′0″N30°14′0″E / 46.35000°N 30.23333°E / 46.35000; 30.23333 Coordinates: 46°21′0″N30°14′0″E / 46.35000°N 30.23333°E / 46.35000; 30.23333
 - elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length1,362 km (846 mi)
Basin size68,627 km2 (26,497 sq mi)
 - average310 m3/s (11,000 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 - left Murafa River, Smotrych River, Zbruch River, Seret River, Strypa River, Zolota Lypa River, Stryi River
 - right Botna River, Bîc River, Răut River, Svicha, Lomnytsia, Ichel
Official nameLower Dniester
Designated20 August 2003
Reference no.1316 [2]

The Dniester River ( /ˈnstər/ NEES-tər [3] ) is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs first through Ukraine and then through Moldova (from which it separates the breakaway territory of Transnistria), finally discharging into the Black Sea on Ukrainian territory again.

Eastern Europe eastern part of the European continent

Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consensus on the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct".

Ukraine sovereign state in Eastern Europe

Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.



The name Dniester derives from Sarmatian dānu nazdya "the close river." [4] The Dnieper, also of Sarmatian origin, derives from the opposite meaning, "the river on the far side". Alternatively, according to Vasily Abaev Dniester would be a blend of Scythian dānu "river" and Thracian Ister, the previous name of the river, literally Dān-Ister (River Ister). [5] The Ancient Greek name of Dniester, Tyras (Τύρας), is from Scythian tūra, meaning "rapid."[ citation needed ]

Dnieper longest river of Ukraine and Belarus

The Dnieper is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, and flowing through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and Belarus and the fourth-longest river in Europe. The total length is approximately 2,200 km (1,400 mi) with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres (195,000 sq mi). The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations. The Dnieper is an important navigable waterway for the economy of Ukraine and is connected via the Dnieper–Bug Canal to other waterways in Europe.

Vaso (Vasily) Ivanovich Abaev was an ethnically Ossetian Soviet linguist specializing in Iranian, particularly Ossetian linguistics.

Thracian language language

The Thracian language is an extinct Indo-European language, spoken in ancient times in South-east Europe by the Thracians. The Thracian language either belonged to the satem group of Indo-European languages, or was a centum language that had been strongly influenced by satem languages.

The names of the Don and Danube are also from the same Indo-Iranian word *dānu "river". Classical authors have also referred to it as Danaster. These early forms, without -i- but with -a-, contradict Abaev's hypothesis. Edward Gibbon refers to the river both as the Niester and Dniester in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire . [6]

Danube river in Central Europe

The Danube, known by various names in other languages, is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.

Indo-Iranian languages language family

The Indo-Iranian languages, Indo-Iranic languages, or Aryan languages constitute the largest and southeasternmost extant branch of the Indo-European language family. It has more than 1.5 billion speakers, stretching from Europe (Romani), Turkey and the Caucasus (Ossetian) eastward to Xinjiang (Sarikoli) and Assam (Assamese), and south to Sri Lanka (Sinhalese) and the Maldives (Maldivian). Furthermore, there are large communities of Indo-Iranian speakers in northwestern Europe, North America and Australia.

Edward Gibbon English historian and Member of Parliament

Edward Gibbon FRS was an English historian, writer and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 and is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its polemical criticism of organised religion.

In Ukrainian, it is known as Дністе́р (translit. Dnister), and in Romanian as Nistru. In Russian, it is known as Днестр (translit. Dnestr), in Yiddish: Nester נעסטער; in Turkish, Turla.

Ukrainian language language member of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages

Ukrainian is an East Slavic language. It is the official state language of Ukraine and first of two principal languages of Ukrainians; it is one of the three official languages in the unrecognized state of Transnistria, the other two being Romanian and Russian. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script.

The romanization or Latinization of Ukrainian is the representation of the Ukrainian language using Latin letters. Ukrainian is natively written in its own Ukrainian alphabet, which is based on the Cyrillic script. Romanization may be employed to represent Ukrainian text or pronunciation for non-Ukrainian readers, on computer systems that cannot reproduce Cyrillic characters, or for typists who are not familiar with the Ukrainian keyboard layout. Methods of romanization include transliteration, representing written text, and transcription, representing the spoken word.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Dnister's riverhead in Staryi Sambir (western Ukraine). Staryi Sambir 02 Dnister.jpg
Dnister's riverhead in Staryi Sambir (western Ukraine).


The Dniester rises in Ukraine, near the city of Drohobych, close to the border with Poland, and flows toward the Black Sea. Its course marks part of the border of Ukraine and Moldova, after which it flows through Moldova for 398 kilometres (247 mi), separating the main territory of Moldova from its breakaway region Transnistria. It later forms an additional part of the Moldova-Ukraine border, then flows through Ukraine to the Black Sea, where its estuary forms the Dniester Liman.

Drohobych City of regional significance in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine

Drohobych is a city of regional significance in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Drohobych district. In 1939–1941 and 1944–1959 it was the center of Drohobych Oblast.

Poland republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Black Sea Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia

The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, Don, and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The Dniester at the Moldavian fortress of Tighina. Transnistrienfortress.jpg
The Dniester at the Moldavian fortress of Tighina.

Along the lower half of the Dniester, the western bank is high and hilly while the eastern one is low and flat. The river represents the de facto end of the Eurasian Steppe. Its most important tributaries are Răut and Bîc.

Eurasian Steppe steppe

The Eurasian Steppe, also called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe ecoregion of Eurasia in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome. It stretches from Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova through Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Xinjiang, and Mongolia to Manchuria, with one major exclave, the Pannonian steppe or Puszta, located mostly in Hungary and partially in Serbia and Croatia.

Bîc River river in Moldova

Bîc is a river in Moldova, a right tributary of Dniester.


The Dniester in Khotyn (western Ukraine). Another Moldavian fortress and an Orthodox church seen on foreground. Chotyn, pevnost, celek.jpg
The Dniester in Khotyn (western Ukraine). Another Moldavian fortress and an Orthodox church seen on foreground.

During the Neolithic, the Dniester River was the centre of one of the most advanced civilizations on earth at the time. The Cucuteni–Trypillian culture flourished in this area from roughly 5300 to 2600 BC, leaving behind thousands of archeological sites. Their settlements had up to 15,000 inhabitants, making them among the first large farming communities in the world. [7]

In antiquity, the river was considered one of the principal rivers of European Sarmatia, and it was mentioned by many Classical geographers and historians. According to Herodotus (iv.51) it rose in a large lake, whilst Ptolemy (iii.5.17, 8.1 &c.) places its sources in Mount Carpates (the modern Carpathian Mountains), and Strabo (ii) says that they are unknown. It ran in an easterly direction parallel with the Ister (lower Danube), and formed part of the boundary between Dacia and Sarmatia. It fell into the Pontus Euxinus to the northeast of the mouth of the Ister, the distance between them being 900 stadia – approximately 210 km (130 mi) – according to Strabo (vii.), while 210 km (130 mi) (from the Pseudostoma ) according to Pliny (iv. 12. s. 26). Scymnus (Fr. 51) describes it as of easy navigation, and abounding in fish. Ovid (ex Pont. iv.10.50) speaks of its rapid course.

Greek authors referred to the river as Tyras (Greek : ὁ Τύρας). [8] At a later period it obtained the name of Danastris or Danastus, [9] whence its modern name of Dniester (Niester), though the Turks still called it Turla during the 19th century. [10] The form Τύρις is sometimes found. [11]

According to Constantine VII, the Varangians used boats on their trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, along Dniester and Dnieper and along the Black Sea shore. The navigation near the western shore of Black Sea contained stops at Aspron (at the mouth of Dniester), then Conopa, Constantia (localities today in Romania) and Messembria (today in Bulgaria).

From the 14th century to 1812, part of the Dniester formed the eastern boundary of the Principality of Moldavia.

Between the World Wars, the Dniester formed part of the boundary between Romania and the Soviet Union. In 1919, on Easter Sunday, the bridge was blown up by the French Army to protect Bender from the Bolsheviks. [12] During World War II, German and Romanian forces battled Soviet troops on the western bank of the river.

After the Republic of Moldova declared its independence in 1991, the small area to the east of the Dniester that had been part of the Moldavian SSR refused to participate and declared itself the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, or Transnistria, with its capital at Tiraspol on the river.

At the confluence of the Seret and the Dniester. Ua river seret mouth.jpg
At the confluence of the Seret and the Dniester.


From source to mouth, right tributaries, i.e. on the southwest side, are the Stryi (231 km), Svicha  [ uk ] (107 km), Lomnytsia  [ de ] (122 km), Bystrytsia (101 km), Răut (283 km), Ichel  [ ro ] (101 km), Bîc (155 km), and Botna (152 km).

Left tributaries, on the northeast side, are the Strv'yazh (94 km), Hnyla Lypa (87 km), Zolota Lypa (140 km), Koropets  [ fr ] (78 km), Strypa (147 km), Seret (250 km), Zbruch (245 km), Smotrych (169 km), Ushytsia  [ uk ] (122 km), Zhvanchyk  [ de ] (107 km), Liadova  [ uk ] (93 km), Murafa (162 km), Rusava  [ uk ] (78 km), Yahorlyk  [ uk ] (73 km), and Kuchurhan (123 km). [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Moldova

Located in Eastern Europe, Moldova is bordered on the west and southwest by Romania and on the north, south, and east by Ukraine. Most of its territory lies between the area's two main rivers, the Nistru and the Prut. The Nistru forms a small part of Moldova's border with Ukraine in the northeast and southeast, but it mainly flows through the eastern part of the country, separating Bessarabia and Transnistria. The Prut River forms Moldova's entire western boundary with Romania. The Danube touches the Moldovan border at its southernmost tip, and forms the border for 200 m (656 ft).

Moldova republic in Eastern Europe

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chișinău.


Bessarabia is a historical region in Eastern Europe, bounded by the Dniester river on the east and the Prut river on the west. Today Bessarabia is mostly part of modern-day Moldova, with the Ukrainian Budjak region covering the southern coastal region and part of the Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast covering a small area in the north.

Tiraspol Municipality in Transnistria, Moldova

Tiraspol is internationally recognised as the second largest city in Moldova, but is effectively the capital and administrative centre of the unrecognised Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria). The city is located on the eastern bank of the Dniester River. Tiraspol is a regional hub of light industry, such as furniture and electrical goods production.

Transnistria de facto unrecognized state in Eastern Europe that has declared independence from Moldova

Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, is an unrecognised state which split off from Moldova after the dissolution of the USSR and mostly consists of a narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine. Transnistria has been recognised only by three other mostly non-recognised states: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia. The region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova.

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi City of regional significance in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, formerly known as Akkerman, is a city and port situated on the right bank of the Dniester Liman in Odessa Oblast of southwestern Ukraine, in the historical region of Bessarabia. Administratively, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is incorporated as a town of oblast significance. It also serves as the administrative center of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Raion, one of twenty-six districts of Odessa Oblast, though it is not a part of the district. It is a location of a big freight seaport. Population: 50,086 (2015 est.)

Lipcani Place in Briceni District, Moldova

Lipcani is a town in Briceni District, Moldova. It is also a border crossing between Moldova and Romania.

Budjak historical region

Budjak or Budzhak is a historical region in Ukraine and Moldova. Lying along the Black Sea between the Danube and Dniester rivers, this thinly populated multi-ethnic 600,000-people region of 13,188 km2 is located in the southern part of historical Bessarabia. Nowadays, the larger part of the region is included in Ukraine's Odessa Oblast, while the rest is included in the southern districts of Moldova. The region is bordered to the north by the rest of Moldova, to the west and south by Romania, and to the east by the Black Sea and the rest of Ukraine.

Transnistria War early 1990s armed conflict

The Transnistria War was an armed conflict that broke out in November 1990 in Dubăsari between pro-Transnistria forces, including the Transnistrian Republican Guard, militia and Cossack units, and pro-Moldovan forces, including Moldovan troops and police. Fighting intensified on 1 March 1992 and, alternating with ad hoc ceasefires, lasted throughout the spring and early summer of 1992 until a ceasefire was declared on 21 July 1992, which has held. The conflict remained unresolved, but in 2011 talks were held under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with Lithuania holding the rotating chairmanship.

Political status of Transnistria

The political status of Transnistria, a self-proclaimed state on the internationally recognized territory of Moldova, has been disputed since the Transnistrian declaration of independence on September 2, 1990. This declaration sought to establish a Soviet Socialist Republic separate from the Moldavian SSR, while still part of the Soviet Union. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and Moldova's own declaration of independence in 1991, the PMSSR was transformed into the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), commonly referred to as Transnistria. No United Nations member country recognizes the PMR's bid to sovereignty.

History of Transnistria

This is the history of Transnistria. See also the history of Europe.

Demographic history of Transnistria

A demographic history of Transnistria shows that actual Transnistria has been home to numerous ethnic groups, in varying proportions, over time.

Outline of Transnistria

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Transnistria:

Dniester Hills, also known as Northern Moldavian Plateau is a geographic area that comprises most of the northern Moldova, and parts of the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine. Dniester Hills are the N and NE component of the Moldavian Plateau.

History of Transnistria to 1792

This deals with the History of Transnistria before it became part of the Russian Empire in 1792.

Dniester Canyon canyon in France

Dniester Canyon – the Dniester River canyon, located at the territory of Dniester River Valley in Ukraine. On February 3, 2010, the Regional landscape park "Dnister Canyon" was promoted to the status of the National Nature Park.

The Kuchurhan is a river in Eastern Europe. It is a tributary of the Dniester which begins on the Podolian Upland in Ukraine. It then flows SSE and forms part of the border between Transnistria in Moldova and the Odessa Oblast in Ukraine. The river is 109 kilometres (68 mi) long and drains 2,090 square kilometres (810 sq mi).

Transnistria autonomous territorial unit administrative territorial entity of Moldova

Transnistria autonomous territorial unit, officially The Administrative-Territorial Units of the Left Bank of the Dniester is a formal administrative unit of Moldova established by the Government of Moldova to delineate the territory controlled by the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.

Transnistria (geographical region) Narrow region between the River Dniester and the Moldova-Ukraine border

Transnistria - region in the east Europe, a narrow strip of territory to the east of the River Dniester. The PMR controls main part of this region, and also the city of Bender and its surrounding localities on the west bank, in the historical region of Bessarabia.


  1. http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5cD%5cN%5cDnisterRiver.htm
  2. "Lower Dnister". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Dniester"
  4. Mallory, J.P. and Victor H. Mair. The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000. p. 106
  5. Абаев В. И. Осетинский язык и фольклор (Ossetian language and folklore). Moscow: Publishing house of Soviet Academy of Sciences, 1949. P. 236
  6. Edward Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol 1 chapt 11
  7. Mikhail Widejko. "Trypillya Culture Proto-Cities: History of Discovery and Investigations M. Yu. Videiko Published: Відейко М. Ю. Трипільські протоміста. Історія досліджень. Київ 2002; с. 103–125 (Videiko M. Yu. Trypillya culture proto-cities. History of investigations. Kiev 2002, p. 103–125)". Iananu.kiev.ua. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  8. Strab. ii.
  9. Amm. Marc. xxxi. 3. § 3; Jornand. Get. 5; Const. Porphyr. de Adm. Imp. 8
  10. Herod. iv. 11, 47, 82; Scylax, p. 29; Strab. i. p. 14; Mela, ii. 1, etc.; also Schaffarik, Slav. Alterth. i. p. 505.
  11. Stephanus of Byzantium, p. 671; Suid. s. v.
  12. Kaba, John (1919). Politico-economic Review of Basarabia. United States: American Relief Administration. p. 15.
  13. Encyclopedia of Ukraine – Dniester River