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1 us and them = we and they (colloq.)
1. See if you can answer these questions about Russia. Student’s Books IV (Lessons 53—57), V (Lesson 5), VI (Units 2, 3, 8) can help you.
2. A. Look at the chart and describe the Russian National Government. Say who the Head of the country is, who the Head of the Council of Ministers1 is. What is the official name of the Russian Parliament? Who is the Head of the Federal Council?2 Who is the Head of the State Duma?
B. Find out what role the political parties play in our country. Ask your parents if necessary. 3. Choose the right item.
1. The official name of our country is ....
b) the Russian Federation
c) the Republic of the Russian Federation
2. There are ... republics and 62 other regions in the Russian Federation.
3. The National Government of Russia consists of ... .
a) the President and the Prime Minister
b) the President and the Council of Ministers
c) the President, the Council of Ministers and the Federal Assembly
4. There are ... Houses in the Federal Assembly,
5. The lower House of the Federal Assembly is ....
a) the State Duma
b) the Council of Ministers
c) the Federal Council
6. The population of Russia is about ....
a) 145 000 000
b) 48 000 000
c) 548 000 000
7. The Head of the Russian Federation is ....
a) the President
b) the Prime Minister
c) the Speaker of the State Duma
8. The original name of the city founded on the Neva banks by Peter the Great was ... .
b) St Petersburg
9. The eight ancient Russian towns which are known as Zolotoe Koltso (the Golden Ring) include Sergiyev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Rostov Veliky, Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Ivanovo and ... .
10. Russia is a land of over ... nationalities,
1 the Council of Ministers — Ñîâåò ìèíèñòðîâ
4. A. We talked to a group of British teenagers and asked them what they would like to know about Russia. This is what they asked. Answer their questions.
B. Make a list of questions you would like to ask these children.
5. Perhaps the mostdifficult question the British children askedwas this: “How does Russia compare with what you know of Britain?” Try to answer the question comparing Russia and Great Britain in:
5) peoples and languages
6) natural world
8) food and drink
6. The British children asked us more questions. Read the answers and guess what the questions were.
1. The ecological situation in Russia is not very safe. Pollution in some industrial towns is high. Some parts of western Russia were badly influenced by radiation from Chernobyl in 1986. In many places wildlife is in danger. Anyhow, more and more people are beginning to realize that a clean environment is extremely important. Ecological education has found its way into schools. We all hope that the situation will soon become better.
2. Perhaps the greatest love of Russians is for tea. It’s drunk without milk and is often served with homemade varenye (jam), bai'anki (circles of dry pastry1) and pirozhki (baked pastry with some filling). Russian-style tea is a special ceremony when people sit around a table with a samovar (tea-urn) placed in the middle and drink hot strong tea with a slice of lemon either from cups or from glasses in glassholders.
3. Usually tourists buy traditional Russian souvenirs such as Matryoshka dolls, beautifully painted mugs, plates and spoons from the village of Khokhloma and Palekh boxes. Richer people buy amber,2 furs, art books and caviar. Some tourists are more interested in badges, T-shirts and Russian fur hats (ushankas).
4. The main dishes of the traditional menu are blini (pancakes) with honey, caviar or sour cream, different soups (like shchi and borshch), pirozhki, pelmyeni (boiled pastry with a meat filling) served with mustard, butter, vinegar or sour cream. Russian people eat brown bread with nearly every meal.
5. Many Russians are religious people. The main church is the Russian Orthodox Church.3 It has survived the hard times and now people speak about a rebirth of religion in the country. New churches and cathedrals are built every year, old ones are restored.4 But not all people in Russia belong to the Orthodox Church. There are other religions too and there are a lot of people who are non-believers.
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7. To know a country means to know its people. These are the portraits of some famous people of Russia. Imagine that your foreign guests have asked you about them. Use the information below and tell your guests about these people.
Alexander Pushkin (1799—1837), the greatest poet and writer
Peter Tchaikovsky (1840—1893), a Russian composer
Isaac Levitan (1860—1900), a Russian artist
Georgy Zhukov (1896—1974), a famous Russian army officer, marshal of the USSR
Yuri Gagarin (1934—1968), the first Russian cosmonaut
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