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The Ural (Russian: Урал, Kazakh: Жайық, Zhayyq), known as Yaik before 1775, is a river flowing through Russia and Kazakhstan. It arises in the southern Ural Mountains and ends at the Caspian Sea. Its total length is 1,509 mi (2,428 km). It forms part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia.

It arises on the eastern side of the Urals, about 150 km north of Magnitogorsk, flows south through Magnitogorsk, and around the southern end of the Urals, through Orsk where it turns west for about 300 km, to Orenburg, when the Sakmara River joins. From Orenburg it continues west, passing into Kazakhstan, then turning south again at Ural'sk, and meandering through a broad flat plain until it reaches the Caspian at Atyrau.


Photo collection by Vladimir Sokolov