The River Dnipro (formerly better known by the Russian name of Dnieper) is intimately linked to the history and identity of Ukraine. Cybriwsky discusses the history of the river, from when it was formed and its many uses and modifications by human agencies from ancient times to the present.
From key vantage points along the river’s course—its source in western Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea—interesting stories shed light on past and present life in Ukraine. Scenes set along the river from Russian and Ukrainian literature are evoked, as well as musical compositions and works of art. Topics include the legacy of the region’s cultural ancestors as the Kyivan Rus, the period of Cossack dominion, the epic battles for the river’s bridges in World War II, the building of dams and huge reservoirs by the Soviet Union, and the crisis of Chornobyl (Chernobyl). The author argues that the Dnipro and the farmlands along it are Ukraine’s chief natural resources, and that the country's future depends on putting both to good use.
Written without academic pretence in an informal style with dashes of humor, Along Ukraine's River is illustrated with original line drawings, maps, and photographs.