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Unit 2. State System of Russian Federation
The Russian Federation is set up by the Constitution of 1993.
Under The Constitution Russia is a presidential republic. The federal government consists of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. Each of them is checked and balanced by the President.
The legislative power is vested in the Federal Assembly. It consists of two chambers. The Upper Chamber is the Council of Federation; the Lower Chamber is the State Duma.
Each chamber is headed by the Speaker. Legislature may be initiated in either of the two Chambers. But to become a law a bill must be approved by both Chambers and signed by the President. The President may veto the bill.
The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he makes treaties, enforces laws, appoints ministers to be approved by the Federal Assembly.
The executive power belongs to the Government .which is headed by the Prime Minister. The first action of the Prime Minister on appointment is to form the Cabinet.
The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the regional courts.
The members of the Federal Assembly are elected by popular vote for a four-year period.
Today the state symbol of Russia is a three-coloured banner. It has three horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. The white stripe symbolizes the earth, the blue one stands for the sky, and the red one symbolizes liberty. It was the first state symbol that replaced the former symbols in 1991. The hymn of Russia is «The Patriotic Song» by M.Glinka. A new national emblem is a two-headed eagle. It is the most ancient symbol of Russia. It originates from the heraldic emblem of the Ruricovitches. All these symbols are official. They have been approved by the Federal Assembly.
5.2.2 Vocabulary. Pronounce the following words
under the Constitution – в соответствии с конституцией
a presidential republic – президентская республика
a branch – власть (как часть правительства)
legislative – законодательный
executive – исполнительный
judicial – судебный
to be checked by smb. – контролироваться чем-либо
to be balanced by smb. – балансироваться, уравновешиваться кем-либо
to be vested in – осуществляться кем-либо
the Federal Assembly – Федеральное собрание
5.2.3 Questions. Answer the questions upon the text
1 What branches does the Government consist of?
2 What is the legislative power exercised by?
3 What body does the executive power belong to?
4 What does the system of courts consist of?
5 What are the national symbols of Russia?
6 How is a law made?
5.2.4 Translate into English
1 Глава парламентской республики России – президент.
2 Законопроект становится законом, если президент не наложит на него вето.
3 Законопроект должен быть одобрен обеими палатами и подписан президентом.
4 Исполнительную власть представляет кабинет министров, возглавляемый премьер-министром.
5 Судебная власть осуществляется Конституционным судом, Верховным судом и другими судами.
Political System of Russia
The Russian Federation is a Presidential (or a constitutional) republic. The President is the head of the state and is elected directly by the people. In fact he has much power, he controls all the three branches of power. The President can even dissolve the Duma if he doesn't agree with it’s suggestions three times running. The President has his administration, but it's not part of the Federal Government. The President is involved in the work of the legislative and executive branches.
The Federal Assembly represents the Legislative branch of power. It's made up of the two houses: the Federation Counsil and the State Duma, which make laws. The Federal Assembly is also called the Parliament, but it's not its official name. Both chambers are headed by chairmen sometimes called speakers. The Duma consists of 450 deputies (one half is elected personally by the population, and the other half consists of the deputies who are appointed by their parties after voting). The members of the Federation Counsil are elected on a different basis. There are two representatives of each subject of the RF (89 subjects). Every law to be adapted must be approved by the State Duma, the Counsil of Federation and signed by the President. The President can veto laws passed by the Federal Assembly, but it can pass laws over the President's veto a two-thirds majority.
The Federal Government represents the executive branch of power. The President appoints its head, the Chainman of the Government, but the Duma must approve his appointment.
The judicial branch of power consists of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and lower Courts. The responsibility of the Constitutional Court is to analyse the new laws, to make sure they correspond to the laws of the state. The Constitutional Court has the right to declare actions of the President, the Federal Assembly and the Federal Government unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is the highest instance for civil and criminal cases.
5.2.6 Look at the table and described the Russian National Government. Say who the Head of the country is, who the Head of the Council of Ministers is. What is the official name of the Russian Parliament? Who is the Head of the Federal Council? Who is the Head of the State Duma?
5.2.7 Choose the right item
1 The official name of our homeland is ….
b) the Russian Federation;
c) the Republic of the Russian Federation.
2 There are … republics and 68 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) 148 000 000;
b) 48 000 000;
c) 548 000 000.
7 The Head of the Republic 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 five ancient Russian towns which are known as Zolotoe Koltso (the Golden Ring) include Rostov Veliky, Suzdal, Vladimir, Zvenigorod and …
10 Russia is a land of over … nationalities.
Unit 3. Moscow
5.3.1 Text А
Moscow is the capital of Russia. The city is located in western Russia and lies in the broad, shallow valley of the Moskva River, a tributary of the Oka and thus of the Volga, in the centre of the vast plain of European Russia. This region is one of the most highly developed and densely populated areas of Russia.
The climate of Moscow is of the continental type, modified by the temperate influence of westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold and long, summers are short and mild. The moderate annual precipitation occurs predominantly in the summer months, often in brief, heavy downpours.
Moscow is the largest metropolitan area In Russia with the population of about 10 million people, one of the largest cities in the world. The original settlement was founded where the Kremlin now stands. Because of its central location in the heart of European Russia, Moscow became a focal point for important trade routes.
Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147. It is the official date of the foundation of Moscow, though the settlement had been there for some time before. It was fortified and became a market town in the late 12th century. The town was almost totally destroyed in 1237 and 1293 during the Tatar invasion. In the early 14th century Moscow became the political and religious centre of the north-eastern part of Russia. It was again captured by the Tatars in 1382. By the end of the 15th century, Moscow extended its rule over most of central and northern Russia. Its rulers continued to build fortifications around it.
The transfer of the capital by Peter the Great to St. Petersburg in 1712 brought a period of decline to Moscow. In 1812 came the Napoleon's conquest and the city was destroyed by fire. The city was rebuilt within a short period. In the 19th century Moscow became a centre for industry and commerce, as well as a leading cultural, scientific and political centre.
Moscow is the seat of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Moscow is Russia's largest industrial city. Nearly 30 percent of the city's workforce is employed in industry and industrial research. Some of Russia's largest plants are located in or around Moscow. Metallurgy, metal processing and engineering are the largest industrial sectors. Other large sectors are textiles, clothing and footwear, chemical and petrochemical industries, electronic instruments and automation equipment.
Moscow, apart from its political, administrative and economic functions as the capital of Russia, its leading cultural centre.
Moscow has a large concentration of educational institutions, and its centers of higher-education draw students from throughout Russia. Moscow State University (1755) is the leading educational institution. The city's many specialized educational institutions include the Moscow Timiryazev Academy of Agriculture and the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. Scientific research is conducted by the Academy of Sciences of Russia and many institutions linked to industry. The city's libraries include the V.I. Lenin State Library.
Theatre, music, and art are important in the city's life. The State Academic Bolshoi ("Great") Theatre (1825), Maly ("Little") Theatre, and Moscow Art Theatre are especially renowned. Of the many museums and galleries, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery are notable. Moscow is Russia main tourist attraction.
5.3.2 Text B
Moscow is a political and cultural centre of Russia. It is the Seat of the Government. Its history dates back tothe times when it was a small wooden fortress.
Moscow was founded in 1147 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. At that time all of Moscow occupied an area equal to one-third of the Kremlin grounds as they are today. Now Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world.
It’s divided into 9 administrative districts named according to their geographical position, that is, the Northern, the North-Eastern, the Eastern, the South-Eastern, the Southern, the South-Western, the Western, the North-Western and the Central Districts.
Moscow is an industrial and business giant. Its 1700 plants and factories manufacture the most diverse items ranging from needles to rockets.
Moscow has more than 80 higher educational establishments. The largest of them is the State University. Moscow is a great book centre. It has more than 4000 libraries.
Men whose names are hallmarks of genius - Andrey Rublev, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoi, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chechov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Fyodor Shalyapin and many others lived and worked in Moscow.
There are over 100 cinema-theatres, 40 theatres and concert halls in Moscow. Moscow theatres are famous not only in this country but also abroad. Moscow competitions and festivals become a feature of Moscow's musical life.
Moscow saw the 22-d Olympic Games. There are 58 sports stadiums, 26 swimming pools and 16 recreation parks.
There are 150 museums and exhibition halls in Moscow. Moscow fine arts museums contain the finest examples of Russian and European pictorial art from the 11-th century mosaics and ancient icons to the works of contemporary painters and sculptures.
Among numerous monuments there are real sculptural masterpieces, for example, the monument to Minin and Pozharsky by Martos, the monument to Ivan Fyodorov by Volnukhin, the monument to Pushkin by Opekushin and many others.
Many places of interest in Moscow are connected with the crucial events in the country's history. But the Moscow Kremlin holds a place apart among the numerous sights of the city. It is our country's greatest historical monument, a creation of Russian genius. On the Kremlin grounds there are old magnificent palaces, cathedrals, churches and belfries. The unique Kremlin museums - the Patriarch's Chambers, the Armoury Chamber, the Diamond Fund Exhibition contain masterpieces of pictorial and decorative art. The Moscow Kremlin has 20 towers, the main of them are the Spasskaya (Frolov) Tower, the Borovitskaya Tower and the Troitskaya Tower. Apart from the historical and architectural monuments the Kremlin is also attractive for its gardens and park. The Kremlin is inseparably linked with Red Square. Red Square is the oldest, the largest and the most famous square in Moscow. The Lobnoe Mesto (15-th century), the church of St.Basil (1561), the monument to Minin and Pozharsky (1818), the State Historical Museum (1880), the building of the GUM (1890-ties) and the Lenin Mausoleum (1930) serve as recognizable signs of Red Square.
Whatever your field of interest - history or literature, technology or fine arts, politics or economics - you may learn many new things in Moscow.
5.3.3 Vocabulary. Pronounce the following words
a metropolitan area – район, где расположен город
a settlement – поселок
to become a focal point – стать фокусом, пересечением
a trade route – торговый путь
to be fortified – быть укрепленным
to become a market town – стать торговым городом
to be destroyed – быть разрушенным
the Tatar invasion – татарское нашествие
to extend its rule over smth. –распространить свою власть на (что-либо)
to build fortifications – строить укрепления
a period of decline – период упадка
the Napoleon’s conquest – нашествие Наполеона
workforce – рабочая сила
metal processing – металлообработка
engineering – машиностроение
textiles – ткани
footwear – обувь
chemical and petrochemical industries – химическая и нефтехимическая промышленность
electronic instruments – электронные станки
automation equipment – автоматика
the Academy of Science – Академия наук
a scientific research institution – научно-исследовательский институт
a tourist attraction – предмет интереса туристов
5.3.4 Questions. Answer the questions upon the text
1 What part does Moscow play in the life of Russia?
2 What was Moscow’s history before the 18th century?
3 What happened to the city in the 19th century?
4 How can you prove that Moscow is the largest industrial city in the country?
5 How can you characterize the city’s role as a cultural centre?
5.3.5 Translate into English
1 Москва – крупнейший город в России, в Москве пересекаются многие важные торговые пути.
2 Официальная дата основания Москвы – это дата первого упоминания Москвы в летописях.
3 Сначала Москва была поселком; позже город был укреплен и стал торговым центром.
4 Из-за центрального положения Москвы в европейской части России город стал торговым, политическим и религиозным центром России.
5 Москва была несколько раз захвачена и разрушена: татарами в 13 и 14 веках, французами в 19 веке.
6 Перенос столицы в Санкт-Петербург привел Москву к упадку.
7 Москва – промышленный и торговый центр, местонахождение правительства Российской Федерации.
8 Рабочая сила столицы занята в металлургии, металлообработке, машиностроении, химической и нефтехимической промышленности и других отраслях.
9 В Москве находятся около 80 НИИ, Академия наук, Российская государственная библиотека с крупнейшим архивом.
10 Москва – центр издательского дела.
5.3.6 Put questions to the following sentences
1 Moscow is located in western Russia.
2 Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147.
3 In 1812 came the Napoleon’s conquest and the city was destroyed by fire.
4 Moscow has a large concentration of educational institutions.
5 Scientific research is conducted by the Academy of Sciences of Russia.
5.3.7 Find in the text the English equivalents for
1) приток Оки;
2) сильные дожди;
3) пересечение торговых путей;
4) быть укрепленным;
5) быть разрушенным;
6) распространить свою власть;
7) период упадка;
8) центральное местоположение;
9) нашествие Наполеона;
10) Академия наук.
5.3.8 Choose the endings to the following sentences which are correct according to the text
1 Moscow was first mentioned in chronicles …
a) in 1147.
b) in 1237.
c) in 1712.
2 Moscow was almost totally destroyed in 1237 during …
a) the Great Patriotic War.
b) the Tatar invasion.
c) the earthquake.
3 The climate of Moscow is modified by the temperate influence of westerly winds from the …
a) Pacific Ocean.
b) Atlantic Ocean.
c) Indian Ocean.
5.3.9 Fill in the blanks with appropriate prepositions
1 Moscow is the capital … Russia.
2 Moscow is the largest metropolitan area … Russia … the population … 10 million people.
3 … 1812 came the Napoleon’s conquest and the city was destroyed … fire.
4 Some of Russia’s largest plants are located … or … Moscow.
5 Scientific research is conducted … the Academy … Sciences … Russia.
6 Nearly 30 percent … the city’s workforce is employed … industry.
5.3.10 Read and learn the dialogue by heart
- When was Moscow founded?
- Moscow was founded in 1147.
- Is there a monument to Yuri Dolgoruky in Moscow? Where is it?
- Yes, there is. It is in the centre of Moscow.
- When did Moscow become the capital?
- In the 16th century. It was under Ivan III that Moscow became the capital of the state of Moscow.
- In 1712 the capital was moved to St. Petersburg, wasn’t it? When did Moscow become the capital again?
- After the October Revolution Moscow became the capital again.
- What do you know about St. Basil’s Cathedral?
- St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan.
- There is a monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Red Square. What can you say about it?
- During the Troubled Times Moscow was occupied by the Polish invaders, but they were routed by the popular levy headed by Minin and Pozharsky.
- What can you see on the territory of the Kremlin?
- On the territory of the Kremlin you can see old cathedrals, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great (колокольня Ивана Великого), the Palace of Congresses, the Tzar-Cannon (Царь-пушка) and Tzar-Bell (Царь-колокол) – the biggest cannon and bell in the world.
- What is your favorite place in Moscow?
- Red Square.
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