The blue band of the Dnipro winds its way dividing Kyiv into two parts. Since olden times the river played a great part in the city's life. It was here that the famous trade route "from Varangians to Greeks" ran. In the river's valley nearby the Kyiv Hills sprang up a settlement of traders and craftsmen, Podil, with a noisy wharf where sailed up guests of many countries. The Greeks gave the river the name of "Boristhenos" which meant "that running from the north"; the Slavs named it "Slavuta", "Slavutych". Its modem name is of the Irano-Skythian origin, and, to one of the versions, stands for "big water".
The Kyiv river port is one of the largest on the Dnipro. The Dnipro and its tributary Desna are the main sources of the water-supply system of the city, and the Kyiv Hydro supplies Kyiv with a major portion of electric energy. The Trukhaniv Island, Hydropark, Matviivsky and Venetsyansky Bays are the fine recreation areas in the centre of the city.