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The Samara region is situated in the southeastern European part of Russia. The Samara region covers the area of 53.6 thousand square kilometers. It borders on the Republic of Tatarstan in the north, the Saratov region in the south, the Orenburg region in the east, the Ulyanovsk region in the northwest.
The Samara region stretches for 335 kilometers from north to south, and for 315 kilometers from west to east. Most of the territory of the Samara region is forest steppe. Pine and wide-leaf woods are in the north of the region, southern and eastern parts are mostly steppes. The largest mountain chain of the region and at the same time the most magnificent in Russia are the Zhiguly Hills situated in Samarskaya Luka. Besides the Volga, the most important water arteries of the region, are the Samara, the Sok, the Kinel, the Bolshoy Irgiz, and the Kondurcha rivers.
The Samara region has a distinct continental climate. The annual air temperature is +3.8 ْC. The average temperature in January is -13.9 ْC, in July it is +20.1ْ C. The neighborhood with the waterless Asian half desserts affects the climate of the southern parts of the region. Therefore droughts take place here once in a while. For the same reason, large areas of the region are risky for agriculture.
The main fossils of the region are oil and natural gas. Among other natural resources significant for the economy of the region are oil shale, silicate clay, native sulfur, sodium chloride, construction stone and a number of other substances and minerals. With the creation of the Volzhskaya Hydro Electric Station in 1957, the Zhiguly Sea became the most important hydroelectric resource. Despite active industrial development of the city, the wild nature, flora and fauna are carefully preserved. The key nature reserves areas are the national park “Samarskaya Luka”, the Zhiguly public nature reserve named after Ivan Sprygin, “Buzuluksky Bor” and some others. Elks, deer, wild boars, roe deer, wolves, hares, dozens of unique species of birds, fish and insects inhabit the Samara region, rare plants grow here too.
The Samara region ranks first among the most advanced regions as regards development of the educational system. This system includes several stages: nursery school and kindergarten education, primary and secondary education and higher education. Taking into account new requirements of Russian society that undergoes reforms many educational institutions started to train specialists in fields that are relatively new for the country, such as management, marketing, banking and information systems. Many of our institutions of higher education have established strong partnerships with some Western universities.
The Samara region exports automobiles, metal-cutting machine tools, high power transformers, fertilizers, building materials, airplanes, ball-bearings and spirits. The Samara region maintains economic relations with over 70 countries of the world. The region exports its products and services to leading countries in the West, including the USA, Germany, France and Italy.
Answer the questions:
Complete the following sentences:
1. The Samara region is …
2. It borders on …
3. The Samara region has …
4. Natural resources of the Samara region …
5. The Samara region exports …
Samara with its population of more than a million people occupies a large territory (its area is 35 by 13.5 km now) and is one of the largest cities in Russia. It is situated on the bank of the Volga ( the largest river in Europe) and is known for its remarkable history and industry.
Samara was founded in 1586. It emerged as a small fortress near the two rivers, the Volga and the Samara, to guard the Russian frontiers from nomads. Due to its favorable position Samara developed into a sizeable river port and a trading centre. And though some factories appeared in the town it remained an agricultural centre up to the October Revolution. It was a dusty town then with narrow and crooked streets, open to the bitter north winds in winter and to the oppressive heat waves in summer. The only thing that struck visitors was a great number of churches.
Great changes have taken place in Samara in the years of Soviet Power. It became a large industrial town, famous for its heavy engineering, motor and tools production, aircraft, chemical and light industries.
Samara is now an important transport centre. It has a river port, a railway station and a home and international airport.
It is a well-known fact that during the years of the Second World War the Government of the Soviet Union had its seat in Samara (Kuibyshev then). Since that time our city has always played an important part in the life of our country.
Samara is also a cultural centre. The city’s numerous highly educational institutions train specialists for all branches of our national science, economy, industry and culture. A wide network of professional schools and technical colleges provides our young people with every opportunity of choosing their road in life.
If you are staying in Samara for a few days you will have no difficulty in finding where to go and what to see. We have a fine Natural History Museum, a picture Gallery and many museums connected with the names of some outstanding people. Our citizens are proud of our Drama Theatre, Opera and Ballet House, Theatre for Younger Spectators and Puppet Theatre. If you want to listen to good music you should go to the Philharmonic Society.
Tourists usually like Samara’s broad streets and avenues of the new districts. They also admire the old centre of the town with its old but stylish buildings, theatres, museums and historical monuments.
Many new and comfortable houses are being built in all the districts. Some people say that Samara is growing not older but younger and it’s exactly so. The old part of the city is considerably smaller than the new one. Samara’s citizens are proud of our modern districts, green parks and splendid squares, of our embankment that is the most frequented place in the city. And what can be compared with the view of the Volga river from the park near the Drama Theatre.
The Volga, one of the most important waterways in Russia, also provides our citizens with every chance of having a good rest in summer and winter too.
Find in the text the English equivalents to the following words:
Промышленность, возникать, крепость, охранять, границы, кочевники, благоприятный, сельскохозяйственный, кривой, томительный, оборудование, выдающийся, часто посещать, житель, район, обеспечивать.
Make up word combinations using the given words:
outstanding river port
Complete the following sentences:
1. … to guard the Russian frontiers from nomads.
2. Due to its favorable position … .
3. In the years of Soviet Power Samara became … .
4. … where to go and what to see.
5. Some people say that Samara … .
6. Samara’s citizens are proud of … .
7. The Volga provides … .
Answer the following questions:
1. Why did Samara emerge?
2. How did the town look like up to the October Revolution?
3. What changes have taken place in Samara in the years of Soviet Power?
4. What museums and theatres in our town do you know?
5. What do you think attracts tourists most of all the city now?
6. Why is Samara growing not older but younger?
7. What is the most frequented place in Samara?
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