Dnipro rapids - A Historical and Geographical Essay
THE DNIPRO RAPIDS
A Historical and Geographical Essay
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Since the publication of this book in 1928, the Dnipro River, which flows through the middle of Ukraine, has changed immeasurably. Not only have its rapids disappeared under the waters held back by the giant Dniprohes Dam, but its once clear and bountiful waters have turned into drains for industry. Upstream from Kyiv, the bottom of the reservoir known as the Kyiv Sea is filled with radioactive silt from the Chornobyl Atomic Power Station accident. Because of many new dams, countless landmarks along the entire length of the river have disappeared, together with colourful villages and forests which once teemed with wildlife. Some of the reservoirs on the Dnipro have become stinking stagnant cesspools, so that even airline pilots hold their breath when they fly over them.
This book is a glimpse into a bygone age of a small stretch of the river once famous for its rapids. The album was the result of the author’s expedition down the rapids in a dugout to the place where the Dniprohes dam was being built at that time.
In translating the book into English an attempt has been made to preserve the unique style and flavour of the original. However, because of the copious footnotes in the original text of 1928, and the additional ones in the 1989 reprint, it was decided where possible, to translate the old Ukrainian units of measurement directly into present day imperial and metric units. In this way the reader can immediately grasp the dimensions of things, without laborious references to footnotes. My thanks to Dmytro Tkach for approaching people in Ukraine to clarify many points in the text, as well as redrawing many of the substandard photographs from the original.