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OUR COUNTRY




The total area of Russia is a little more than 17 million square kilometers. The population is about 160 million people. The capital of Russia is Moscow.

The greater part of the territory of Russia is vast plains with low mountain ranges and long rivers.

The Urals divide Russia into the European and Asian parts.

The Volga and the Ural are the longest rivers in the European part of the country. The longest rivers in the Asian part are the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena which flow into the Arctic Ocean. The world’s largest inland sea is the Caspian. Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake.

As Russia is a very large country, its climate is very different. However, we can say that it is mainly continental. The Arctic Ocean influences the weather on a great territory of the country. In some parts of our country winter lasts as long as six months.

The European part of Russia is in the temperate zone with warm or hot summers and rather mild winters.

Our country is very rich in mineral resources; especially it is rich in gas, oil and forests which are exported to different countries on a large scale.

From an agricultural country before the 1917 Revolution our country has become a highly developed industrial and agricultural state. After the Revolution heavy industry has been created; there have appeared such new branches of industry as aviation, machine-building, chemical, automobile and many others. A number of hydroelectric power stations have been constructed as well.

It is to be noted that the first atomic power station in the world began operating in Obninsk near Moscow in 1954, the first atomic ice-breaker in the world was also built in Russia. For a number of years our country played a leading role in the field of space exploration. In 1957, the first artificial satellite (sputnik) in the world was launched in Russia. On the 12th of April we celebrate Cosmonautics Day in the memory of the first space flight carried out by Yury Gagarin in 1961.

The new political system has brought great changes in all spheres of life in Russia. The Russian Federation is an independent state with a president at the head. The president is elected every four years at general elections.



The political system consists of three branches of power:

  1. the legislative branch is the Parliament that is divided into two houses – the Upper House, that is the Federation Council, and the Lower House, the Duma.
  2. the executive branch is the government with Prime Minister at the head.
  3. the judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court.

There exist a great many political parties and organizations (political as well as social) in our country today.

 

Exercise I

Answer the questions:

  1. How large is the territory of Russia?
  2. How large is the population of Russia?
  3. What parts do the Urals divide Russia into?
  4. Can you name the longest rivers in Siberia and the Far East?
  5. Which is the largest inland sea in the world?
  6. Which is the deepest lake and where is it? What’s its depth?
  7. Why do we say that the climate in Russia is various?
  8. What influences the climate of large territories in our country?
  9. What mineral resources is Russia rich in?
  10. What has been created in our country after the 1917 Revolution?
  11. What can you say about the first atomic power station in the world and about the first atomic ice-breaker?
  12. When and where was the first sputnik launched into space?
  13. Who was the first to make a space flight? When did it happen?
  14. What kind of state is the Russian Federation?
  15. What period is the president elected for?
  16. What are the three branches of power in our country?

Exercise II



Complete the sentences:

  1. The greater part of the territory of Russia …
  2. The Urals divide Russia …
  3. Lake Baikal is …
  4. The climate of Russia is …
  5. The Arctic Ocean influences …
  6. The European part of Russia is in …
  7. Our country is very rich in …
  8. After the 1917 Revolution there have appeared such …
  9. The first atomic power station in the world began …
  10. In 1957 … was launched in Russia.
  11. On the 12th of April we celebrate …
  12. The Russian Federation is …
  13. The legislative branch is …
  14. The executive branch is the government …
  15. The judicial branch is headed …

 

 

Exercise III

Read and translate the dialogues:

Dialogue 1

REPORTER: (Addressing Mr.Butler who headed an expedition to Kamchatka): How do you do, Mr. Butler? I’m Alexander Somov, a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times.

MR. BUTLER: How do you do, Mr. Somov?

R.: Our newspaper is very much interested in the results of your expedition. Have you had a good journey? Have you seen much of our country?

B.: The journey was quite safe and comfortable. As to your country, it’s really very large. We especially felt it when were coming back by train. It was very interesting to cross the whole country from the Far East to St. Petersburg.

R.: What impressed you most during your expedition?

B.: First of all, it’s Kamchatka itself with volcanoes and unusually high geysers.

R.: And what about Siberia? What have you seen there?



B.: We have visited Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and some other industrial and cultural centers. We saw your beautiful Lake Baikal. We met many interesting people. I must say that Russians are very friendly. I’m very sorry, Mr. Somov, but we are in a hurry now. Goodbye!

R.: Thank you for the interview, Mr.Butler. Goodbye!


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