Bug River

The Bug River (Polish: Bug [buk] (listen) or Western Bug; Ukrainian: Західний Буг, Zakhidnyy Buh, Belarusian: Захо́дні Буг, Zakhodni Buh; Russian: Западный Буг, Zapadnyy Bug) is a major river mostly located in Eastern Europe, which flows through three countries with a total length of 774 kilometres (481 mi).[1]

Polish: Bug
Ukrainian: Західний Буг
Belarusian: Захо́дні Буг
Russian: Западный Буг
Bug River in the vicinity of Wyszków, Poland
Bug River through Ukraine, Belarus and Poland
CountryPoland, Belarus, Ukraine
Podlaskie, Mazovian, Lublin,
Physical characteristics
  locationnear Verkhobuzh, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine
  coordinates49°52′0.5736″N 25°5′48.609″E
  elevation310 m (1,020 ft)
Narew near Serock, Poland
52°30′29.286″N 21°5′2.688″E
75 m (246 ft)
Length774 km (481 mi)
Basin size38,712 km2 (14,947 sq mi)
  average1 m3/s (35 cu ft/s)
  average155 m3/s (5,500 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionNarewVistulaBaltic Sea

A tributary of the Narew River, the Bug forms part of the border between Ukraine and Poland for 185 kilometres (115 mi),[2] and between Belarus and Poland for 178 kilometres (111 mi),[2][3] and is the fourth longest Polish river.


The name Bug probably came from the old Germanic word *baug-s, which meant something winding or bent. Slavs adopted the word Baug from the Goths, who previously lived in large numbers near the river.

Traditionally the Bug River was considered to be the ethnographical border between the East and West as well as the border between Polish Orthodox and Catholic peoples.[4]

The Bug formed part of the dividing line between German Wehrmacht and Soviet Red Army zones specified in a secret clause of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty of 28 September 1939 following the September 1939 invasion of Poland in the Second World War.

Geographic characteristics

The Bug River is a left tributary of the Narew River. It flows from the Lviv Oblast in the west of Ukraine northwards into the Volyn Oblast, before passing along the Ukraine-Polish and Polish-Belarusian border and into Poland, where it follows part of the border between the Masovian and Podlaskie Voivodeships. It joins the Narew at Serock, a few kilometers upstream of the artificial Zegrze Lake.[2]

This part of the Narew between the confluence and the Vistula River is sometimes referred to as Bugo-Narew but on December 27, 1962, the Prime Minister of Poland's act abolished the name "Bugo-Narew", soon after Zegrze Lake was completed.[5]

On the Bug River, a few kilometers from the Vysokaye in Kamenets District of the Brest Region, is the westernmost point of Belarus.[6] It is also connected with the Dnieper River via the Mukhavets River, a right-bank tributary, by the Dnieper-Bug Canal.


The total basin area of Bug River is 38,712 square kilometres (14,947 sq mi) of which half, 19,239 square kilometres (7,428 sq mi) or, 50%, is in Poland.[1] Somewhat more than a quarter,11,400 square kilometres (4,400 sq mi) or 29%, is in Belarus, and a bit under a quarter, 8,700 square kilometres (3,400 sq mi) or 22% lies in Ukraine.[2]

The climate of the Bug basin is temperate.[2]

The basin experiences annual high-water levels during spring flooding due to thawing snow, after which a low flow period starts and lasts until October or mid-November. Occasional summer floods often occur in the headlands, where mountains influence favorable flash-flood conditions. In Autumn the water level increases are inconsiderable; in some years they do not happen at all. During the winter the river can have temporary ice-outs that sometimes provoke ice jams, causing an increase of the level up to 2 metres (6.6 ft). The resultant water levels are changeable due to the instability of ice cover.[2]


Significant floods during the last 60 years in Belarus were registered in 1958, 1962, 1967, 1971 and 1974.[2] The largest spring flood was observed in 1979, when the maximum water discharge was 19.1 cubic metres per second on 24 March 1979, at the village of Chersk; 166 cubic metres per second near the village of Tyukhinichi (Lyasnaya river) on 31 March 1979; and 269 cubic metres per second near Brest on 1 April 1979. A similar spring flood occurred in 1999, when the spring run-off in March–May exceeded the average annual value by almost half again (48%).

The last time the Bug flooded in Poland and Ukraine was in 2010 and the last time it flooded in Belarus was in 1999.[2]


Left bank

Right bank

See also


  1. Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Poland 2017, Statistics Poland, p. 85-86
  2. D.François; J. Kikken; P. Moiret; J. Paulzen; B. Stevens (2010). "Characteristics and cross-border cooperation within the river basins of the FLOOD-WISE project" (PDF). Zuyd University of Applied Sciences Maastricht, the Netherlands. pp. 49–55. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  3. "Main Geographic Characteristics of the Republic of Belarus. Main characteristics of the largest rivers of Belarus". Land of Ancestors. Data of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  4. "POLSKIE PRZESIEDLENIA - HISTORIA NIEZNANA". www.lwow.com.pl. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  5. (in Polish) "Monitor Polski" 1963, nr 3, poz. 6
  6. "Main Geographic Characteristics of the Republic of Belarus". Land of Ancestors. The Scientific and Production State Republican Unitary Enterprise “National Cadastre Agency” of the State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
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