The Volga: Russia's River Of RevolutionThe 2,300-mile Volga River is Russia's pride and lifeblood. It provides water, power and transport and has played a key role through Russia's early imperial history up to the present. Now, the river and the communities along it are under threat.
A fisherman looks at sturgeon lying in a boat on the Volga River near Astrakhan in August 2000. The communities around Astrakhan are struggling as the sturgeon population plummeted during recent decades.
Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers/Getty Images News
Russian veterans of World War II attend a Victory Day event in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, May 8, 2010. The site of one of the bloodiest and most important battles of World War II, Volgograd and its residents are struggling to find their way in post-Soviet Russia.
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While Russia's president, Vladimir Putin visits a farm in the Volga region, outside Saratov, in September 2004. Since then, Putin has helped bail out farmers in the area, but many observers worry about his party's seemingly pervasive power.
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Russia's Volga River travels 2,300 miles through the country's heartland. It is the source of Russia's power, spanning from imperial times to the present. Here, a cruise ship travels down the Moscow-Volga canal, heading into the river.