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The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about 1/6 of the Earth surface. The country is situated in Eastern Europe, Northern and Central Asia. Its total area is over 17 million square km.

Our land is washed by 12 seas, most of which are the seas of three oceans: the Arctic, the Atlantic and the Pacific. In the south and in the west the country borders on fourteen countries. It also has a sea-border with the USA.

There is hardly a country in the world where such a great variety of flora and fauna can be found as in our land. Our country has numerous forests, plains and steppes, taiga and tundra, highlands and deserts. The highest mountains in our land are the Altai, the Urals and the Caucasus. There are over two thousand rivers in the Russian Federation. The longest of them are the Volga, the Ob, the Yenisei, the Lena and the Amur. Our land is also rich in various lakes with the deepest lake in the world, the Baikal, included.

On the Russian territory there are 11 time zones. The climate conditions are rather different: from arctic and moderate to continental and subtropical. Our country is one of the richest in natural resources countries in the world: oil, natural gas, coal, different ores, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and other minerals.

The Russian Federation is a multinational state. It comprises many national districts, several autonomous republics and regions. The population of the country is about 140 million people.

Moscow is the capital of our Homeland. It is the largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial center of the country and one of the most beautiful cities on the globe. Russian is the official language of the state. The national symbols of the Russian Federation are a white-blue-red banner and a double-headed eagle.

The Russian Federation is a constitutional republic headed by the President. The country government consists of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The President controls only the executive branch — the government, but not the Supreme Court and Federal Assembly.

The legislative power belongs to the Federal Assembly comprising two chambers: the Council of Federation (upper Chamber) and the State Duma (lower Chamber). Each chamber is headed by the Speaker. The executive power belongs to the government (the Cabinet of Ministers) headed by the Prime Minister. The judicial power belongs to the system of Courts comprising the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and federal courts.

Our country has a multiparty system. The largest and most influential political parties are the «Unity», the Communist party, the «Fatherland-All Russia», «The Union of the Right Forces», «The Apple», Liberal-Democratic and some others.

The foreign policy of the Russian Federation is that of international cooperation, peace and friendship with all nations irrespective of their political and social systems.


to occupy — занимать

surface — поверхность

total area — общая площадь

to border on — граничить с

numerous — многочисленные

steppes — степи

taiga — тайга

highlands — горные возвышенности

the Urals — Уральские горы

the Caucasus — Кавказ

climate conditions — климатические условия

moderate — умеренный

ore —руда

ferrous and non-ferrous metals — черные и цветные металлы

state — государство

to comprise — включать, охватывать

banner — знамя, флаг

legislative — законодательный

executive — исполнительная

judicial — судебная

Federal Assembly — Федеральное Собрание

the Council of Federation — Совет Федерации

State Duma — Государственная Дума

Supreme Court — Верховный суд

influential — влиятельный

foreign policy — международная политика

irrespective — независимо

General understanding:

1. Is Russia the largest country in the world?

2. What oceans wash the borders of the Russian Federation?

3. How many countries have borders with Russia?

4. Are Russian flora and fauna various?

5. What are the highest mountains in Russia?

6. What is Baikal famous for?

7. What is the climate in Russia like?

8. What is the national symbol of Russia?

9. What does the Federal Assembly consist of?

10. Who is the head of each Chamber of the Federal Assembly?

Exercise 5.1. Translate into English:

1. Общая площадь Российской федерации составляет более 17 миллионов километров.

2. В мире вряд ли есть еще одна страна с такой разнообразной флорой и фауной.

3. Озеро Байкал — самое глубокое озеро на земном шаре и служит предметом гордости россиян.

4. На территории Российской федерации существует 11 часовых поясов.

5. Россия является конституционной республикой с президентской формой правления.

6. Законодательная власть принадлежит Федеральному Собранию, состоящему из двух палат.

7. В Российском парламенте представлены такие партии, как «Единство», КПРФ, «Отечество—Вся Россия», «Яблоко», СПС, ЛДПР.

8. Законодательная и судебная власти прямо не подчиняются Президенту.

Exercise 5.2. How well do you know your Homeland?

What is (are):

• the biggest Russian lake?

• the longest Russian river (in European and Asian parts of the Russian Federation)?

• a city with subtropical climate?

• cities with arctic climate?

• agricultural regions?

• old historical cities?

• places of recreation and tourism?

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