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Ural (yŏrˈəl, Rus. ōrälˈ) [key], river, c.1,580 mi (2,540 km) long, rising in the S Urals, flowing through Russia and Kazakhstan. Part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia, the Ural flows S past Magnitogorsk and Orenburg, then through NW Kazakhstan, past Oral, and into the Caspian Sea at Atyrau. At Magnitogorsk there is a water reservoir which supplies the area's metallurgical industry. The Ural River is a transport route to the north for oil, fish, and lumber; grain and cattle are generally shipped south on the river. It is a source of water supply for the towns and agricultural areas in the steppe area in W Kazakhstan.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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