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Volgograd is a city in south-west Russia. When traveling along the riverbanks, be aware of huge amounts of mosquitoes.
Two options to start hitchhiking towards Astrakhan. The first option is to take the local train (at the main trainstation; go trough the tunnel on the left to the local train station) to take a train to Tatyanka-Yuzhnaya (Krasnoarmeyskiy region of Volgograd). From there the road to the south is only 600 meters. The train is however only two times a day. The second option is to take a marshrutka to Yubileyniy. It takes you all the way to the south of the city. It stops at a market, maybe you should get off a little bit earlier, but from there you can easily walk to the road. Ask for 'trassa'. There's a big road, with still some local traffic, but getting a car to Astrakhan oblast shouldn't be too hard.
East towards Rostov-on-Don, Ukraine
Take a local train from Volgograd-1 to Surovikino (Суровикино), there are two trains in the morning and they need 3-4 hours, but take you far out of town (140 km) and only cost 120 Roubles (3 Euros). They use old "platskart"-wagons and it's usually not crowded at all, so you can just lay down and have a little nap. Right outside of the Surovikino train station, take bus #1 to the very last stop, you can already easily spot the bridge of the main road Volgograd-Rostov from here. Drivers are likely to go all the way to Rostov.
If you don't fancy long train trips, then get off after one hour at Karpovskaya (Карповская), but you will face more local traffic here only going to Kalach-On-Don.
Well, if you don't fancy going on train trip at all you can go to the main train station from which you can take marszrutka number 88. It costs 17 rubles and will take you outside the city. You should get out after it exits the city and turns right (after a long time going just straight). It one stop before the last. Then you should come back to the main road. There is a train passage and the cars go very slow and there's a lot of space to pull over so you won't have any problems getting a ride.
North towards Moscow
Take a local train from Volgograd-1 to Kotluban (Котлубань), there are two trains in the morning and both take about one hour. It takes you about 40 km out of town for the price of 48 Roubles (1,20€) and the station is just 300 meters from the main road to Moscow.
Alternatively, take a bus or mini-bus from the center towards Gorodishzhe (Городище) and get off at the METRO shopping center (ТЦ МЕТРО).
Take a subway tram in the center of the city (the old tram, not the new model, because the old one is going to the direction you need) to the last stop (Traktornaya pasazhirskaya). You need to find round about at Opolchenskaya street. It's only one on that street, so check it on google maps how to get there through smaller streets. From there, take a bus number 298 to Yerzhovka. Get out of the bus before it goes to the city, stay on the road which is going around the city and HH from there towards north.
If you have difficulties to find round about at Opolchenskaya street, just ask people where is the bus station for village Yerzhovka and they will tell you.