Moscow Canal

The Moscow Canal (Russian: Кана́л и́мени Москвы́), named the Moskva-Volga Canal until 1947, is a canal in Russia that connects the Moskva River with the Volga River. It is located in Moscow itself and in the Moscow Oblast. The canal connects to the Moskva River in Tushino (an area in the north-west of Moscow), from which it runs approximately north to meet the Volga River in the town of Dubna, just upstream of the dam of the Ivankovo Reservoir. The length of the canal is 128.1 kilometres (79.6 mi).

Moscow Canal
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Moscow Canal
Length79.6 miles (128.1 km)
(originally 8)
Original number of locks8
Maximum height above sea level531 ft (162 m)
Former namesMoskva-Volga Canal
Date completed1937 (1937)
Start pointIvankovo Reservoir
End pointMoskva River

It was constructed between 1932 and 1937 by 200,000 gulag prisoners, under direction of the Soviet secret police and Matvei Berman.[1][2][3]

With the canal, Moscow is connected to Russia's Unified Deep Water System, a large system of canals and rivers in European Russia, which created access to five seas: the White Sea, Baltic Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea. As such, it is sometimes called the "port of the five seas" (Russian: порт пяти морей).[4] Apart from transportation, the canal also provides for about half of Moscow's water consumption, and the shores of its numerous reservoirs are used as recreation zones.[5]

One of the world's tallest statues of Vladimir Lenin, 25-meter (82 ft) high, built in 1937, is located at Dubna at the confluence of the Volga River and the Moscow Canal. The accompanying statue of Joseph Stalin of similar size was demolished in 1961 during the period of de-stalinization.[6]

World War IIEdit

During World War II and the Battle of Moscow, the canal played an instrumental role in the defense of Moscow. Wehrmacht plans were to encircle the city from the north and south. To avoid this, water was pumped from the canal and reservoirs, which stopped their advance in this direction. [7]


The minimum depth of the canal is 5.5 metres (18 ft), and its lock dimensions are 290 by 30 metres (951 by 98 ft).[8]



  1. ^ Maunch, C Zeller, T (2008) Rivers in History: Perspectives on Waterways in Europe and North America, University of Pittsburgh Press P73
  2. ^ "Russia Finishing Canals Built by Forced Labor". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ Martens, John (3 September 2006). "The J.V. Stalin Moscow-Volga Canal". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Сергей Собянин: Реставрацию Северного речного вокзала и благоустройство парка завершат ко Дню города". Сайт Москвы (in Russian). 2020-06-02. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  5. ^ Benua, Sofʹi︠a︡; Бенуа, Софья (2015). Dostizhenii︠a︡ v SSSR : khroniki velikoĭ t︠s︡ivilizat︠s︡ii. Moskva. ISBN 978-5-4438-1006-5. OCLC 904390897.
  6. ^ Salys, Rimgaila (2009). The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov: Laughing Matters. Intellect Books. p. 271.
  7. ^ "Подробности затопления пойм рек Сестра и Яхрома в конце ноября 1941 года".
  8. ^ "Moscow Canal". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

Coordinates: 56°43′N 37°08′E / 56.717°N 37.133°E / 56.717; 37.133