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Active vocabulary

VI. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:

split into – раскалываться; разбиваться на части; to distribute – распределять; to be enclosed быть окруженным, защищенным; landlocked –окружённый сушей, закрытый; limited utility – ограниченного использования; endowed – обеспеченный, одаренный; in spite of – несмотря на; wealth – богатство; indispensable – необходимый, незаменимый; sizable – значительных размеров.

VII. Read and translate the text below focusing on geographical position, climate and resources of Russia.


Russia has a long and complex story. It begins with the East Slavs, the racial group that eventually split into the Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians. Nowadays Russia is the world’s largest country, stretching over eastern Europe and northern Asia. Russia is a parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President. The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma. The population of the country is 230 million people. There are over 100 nations and nationalities in it. The population is quite unequally distributed with the highest density in the European part. About three-quarters of the population is classified as urban. The modern Russian state is geographically isolated. It is enclosed, except in the West, by landlocked seas, deserts, and mountains. There are 38,000 miles of land frontier, nine times that of the United States. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Belorussia, and the Ukraine. It also has a sea-border with the USA.

Russia is washed by 12 seas and 3 oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. The Russian coastline is the longest in the world but it has limited utility since the coastal waters are frozen much of the year. No nation has been as bountifully supplied with rivers as Russia. The Volga River is of great historic, economic and cultural importance for Russia. It is the longest river in Europe extending 3700 kilometers from Valdai Hills to the Caspian Sea. Russia has also several sizable lakes. Lake Baikal, in Eastern Siberia, is the deepest lake in the world. There are two great plains in Russia: the Great Russian Plain and the west Siberian Lowland. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and the others.

Russia crosses 11 time zones from the East to the West and several climatic zones from tundra in the North to subtropics in the south. Russia’s climate is markedly continental, distinguished by extremes of heat and cold, depending on latitude. The climate in the Midlands is moderate. There is a great variety of vegetation in Russia: tundra, taiga, mixed forests, and then mixed forest-steppe, true steppe, which is grass-covered and almost treeless. But in the South mountains are covered with forests too.

Russia is one of the most richly endowed nations in the world with mineral wealth. There are immense deposits of iron, ore, zinc, copper, and nickel, tin and other elements indispensable to modern industry. The state is both industrial and agricultural. Russia has a complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coil, oil, chemical; all forms of machine building: from mills to space vehicles; defense industry: radar, missiles, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; transportation and communication equipment; textiles, handicrafts. Cattle breeding, fruits, vegetables and grain growing and other agricultural fields are developed in our country.

Our state is the country of highly developed culture, significant scientific achievements, wide-spread education and valuable historical heritage.

In Russia there are many problems in the social and economic spheres at present. But in spite of the problems, our country is facing at present, there are a lot of opportunities for it to become one of the leading countries in the world again.

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