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The Berezina or Biarezina[2] (Belarusian: Бярэ́зіна; pronounced [bʲaˈrɛzʲinɐ]) is a river in Belarus and a tributary of the Dnieper River.

Berezina River
Berezina River.JPG
Berezina River in Belarus
Native nameBelarusian: Бярэзіна
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationBelarus
 ⁃ location
Length561 km (349 mi)[1]
Basin size24,500 km2 (9,500 sq mi)[1]

The Berezina Preserve by the river is on the UNESCO list of Biosphere Preserves.

Cities and towns on the BerezinaEdit

Historical significanceEdit

  • Napoleon Bonaparte's army suffered heavy losses (about 36,000) when crossing the Berezina in November 1812 during his retreat from Russia (see Battle of Berezina). Since then "Berezina" is used in French as a synonym of catastrophe. (See also Charles Joseph Minard for a visual graphic of the army's fate.)
  • Charles XII of Sweden's army crossed the Berezina on June 25, 1708 during his campaign against Peter the Great of Russia in the Great Northern War. (see ISBN 0-306-80863-3 for details)
  • Several armies in German Wehrmacht Army Group Centre were entrapped and prevented from crossing the Berezina in June 1944, during the envelopment phases of the Bobruysk and Minsk Offensives, within the closing phases of Operation Bagration in World War II.
  • There were military actions between Germany and Russia at the Berezina River in 1917-1918.[citation needed]
  • Several battles are named after the river.


  1. ^ a b "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.
  2. ^ official transliteration

Coordinates: 52°32′59″N 30°15′00″E / 52.54972°N 30.25000°E / 52.54972; 30.25000