Southern Bug

This article is about the Southern Bug River, in southern Ukraine. For the Bug, a tributary of the Vistula River, see Bug River.
Southern Bug
Ukrainian: Південний Буг, Pivdennyi Buh
Southern Bug River in the vicinity of Vinnytsia, Ukraine
Country Ukraine
 - location Bug Estuary, Ukraine
Length 806 km (501 mi)
Basin 63,700 km2 (24,595 sq mi)
Southern Bug through Ukraine
The river is named as Bog Fl[usse] on this German map.

The Southern Bug, also called Southern Buh[1] (Ukrainian: Південний Буг, Pivdennyi Buh; Russian: Южный Буг, Yuzhny Bug),[1] and sometimes Boh River,[2] is a river located in Ukraine. It is the second longest river in Ukraine.

The source of the river is in the west of Ukraine, in the Volyn-Podillia Upland, about 145 km from the Polish border, from where it flows southeasterly into the Bug Estuary (Black Sea basin) through the southern steppes. It is 806 kilometres (501 mi) long and drains 63,700 km².

Major cities on the Southern Bug are Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Pervomaisk, Mykolaiv (listed downstream, i.e. southwards).

Nomenclature, etymology and history

(Ukrainian: Південний Буг, Pivdennyi Buh; Ukrainian: Бог; Polish: Boh; Russian: Южный Буг, Yuzhny Bug, Ottoman Turkish: Aksu)

Herodotus (c. 484–425 BCE) refers to the river using its ancient Greek name: Hypanis.[3] During the Migration Period of the 5th to the 8th centuries CE the Southern Bug represented a major obstacle to all the migrating peoples in the area.

The long-standing local Slavic name of the river, Boh (Cyrillic: Бог), may derive from a root meaning "rich" (Ukrainian: бaгата, bahata). The famous 17th-century French military engineer and geographer Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan (Ukrainian: Ґійом Левассер де Боплан ) recorded the name of the river as Boh Ruthenian (Ukrainian: Бог Руський, Boh Ruskyi).[4]

From the 16th to the 18th centuries most of the Southern Ukraine formed part of the Crimean Khanate and/or of the Ottoman Empire; the river had the Turkic name Aq-su, meaning the "White river".

"Bug", a Russian name, became established during the colonial period in Ukraine and known internationally. It was a misnomer given by a Russian geologist Vladimir Laskaryev at the beginning of 20th century.

On March 6, 1918 the Central Council of Ukraine (Tsentralna Rada of the Ukrainian People's Republic) adopted the law "For the administrative-territorial division of Ukraine", dividing Ukraine into numerous lands. One of those lands in the upper stream of the river was named "Boh land" (Ukrainian: Побожжя, Pobozhia). Previously in the 18th century there had existed the Bohogard phalanx (Ukrainian: Бoгоґардівська паланка, Bohogardivska palanka) as part of the Zaporizhian Sich centered in the city of Gard (today   a tract near Yuzhnoukrainsk).

Bridges and ferries

Varvarivskyi Bridge in Mykolayiv.

The Varvarivskyi Bridge over Southern Bug in Mykolayiv is a swing bridge (facilitating ship building) with Europe's largest span (134 m).[5] It is also the southernmost bridge over the river.

The river is technically navigable for dozens of kilometers up from its mouth; several riverports (such as Voznesensk) exist.

In 2011, plans are announced to revitalize commercial freight navigation on the Southern Bug as part of the increasing grain export from Ukraine.[6] They were cancelled because of the economic crisis following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.


  1. 1 2 "Encyclopædia Britannica: Southern Buh (River)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  2. Boh River at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine
  3. The Histories, Herodotus p.165. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  4. Compare: Le Vasseur de Beauplan, Guillaume (1651). Golitsyn, Avgustin Petrovich, ed. Description de l'Vkranie depvis les confins de la Moscovie jvsqu'avx limites de la Transylvanie [Description of the Ukraine from the borders of Muscovy to the limits of Transylvania]. Bibliothèque russienne (in French). Paris: J. Techener (published 1861). p. 57. Retrieved 2014-10-30. A trois lieues audessus de Douczakow [Ochakiv] est l'emboucheure du Bog où se trouve vne isle en forme de triangle, viron de demi lieue de long le trauers de Semenwiruk. [...] Au dessus de Semenwirut, il y a sur le Bog Winaradnakricza, qui est vne fontaine sur vn précipice, lieu beau et propre à habiter, tant pour le bois qui est à commodité que pour les moulins qui s'y pourraient faire.
  5. "History". Kyivdiprotrans Institute. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  6. «НИБУЛОН» заложил основу собственного флота(Ukrainian)
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Coordinates: 46°59′N 31°58′E / 46.983°N 31.967°E / 46.983; 31.967

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