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Khazars were replaced by Kipchaks, Kimeks and Mongols, who founded the Golden Horde in the lower reaches of the Volga.

Other resources include natural gas, salt, and potash.

Such Volga cities as Atil, Saqsin, or Sarai were among the largest in the medieval world.

The river served as an important trade route connecting Scandinavia, Rus', and Volga Bulgaria with Khazaria and Persia.

Presently the Mari, another Uralic group, call the river Jul ( It belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea, being the longest river to flow into a closed basin.

Rising in the Valdai Hills 225 meters (738 ft) above sea level northwest of Moscow and about 320 kilometers (200 mi) southeast of Saint Petersburg, the Volga heads east past Lake Sterzh, Tver, Dubna, Rybinsk, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kazan.

The construction of the Uglich Reservoir caused the flooding of several monasteries with buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.

In such cases the ecological and cultural damage often outbalanced any economic advantage.

It is also Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and watershed.