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The Russian Federation

         Russia, the largest country in the world, has always attracted visitors from different countries. It is located in the eastern part of Europe and in the northern part of Asia. It boarders on 13 countries. Russia is washed by 12 seas and three oceans. Russia is connected with the Atlantic ocean through the Baltic Sea in the west and the Black Sea in the south. The Arctic Ocean and its seas including the White, Barents, Kara, Laptev, East‑Siberian Seas wash Russia in the north. The Pacific Ocean and its seas the Bering, Okhotsk, and Japanese Seas are in the east of Russia.

         The Russian Plain, the Urals, the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau, and the Far East are the main areas in Russia. The Russian Plain occupies the European part of Russia. The Ural Mountains separate Europe from Asia.

         Russia’s greatest rivers are the Don, the Volga in its European part, the Ob and Yenisey in West Siberia. Many Russian towns are located along the Volga river.

         Russia is densely populated, but its population is unequally distributed. People prefer to live in the European part of the country. Siberia is thinly inhabited. There are more than 60 nationalities and ethnic groups in Russia. Russia is an urban country- the majority of the Russian citizens live in cities. As Russia occupies the vast territories there are various climatic zones in the country. Continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers prevails on the territory of Russia.

         Russia is rich in mineral deposits such as coal, oil and natural gas, copper, zinc etc. Natural resources determine the development of the Russian economy.

         The Russian Federation was founded in 1991. The Constitution was adopted in 1993. Russia is a Presidential Republic. The first president of Russia was Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin. Now our President is Vladimir Vladimirovich  Putin. The President is commander‑in‑chief of the armed forces, he makes treaties, enforces laws, appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet members, and key judges.

         The Russian government consists of three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The legislative power is vested in the Federal Assembly. It consists of the Federation Council (upper house) and the State Duma (lower house). The members of the State Duma are elected by popular vote for a 4‑year period. The Federation Council is not elected. It is formed of the heads of the regions. Each Chamber is headed by the Chairman. To become a law a bill must be approved by the Lower and Upper Houses and signed by the President. The executive power belongs to the Government. The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and regional courts.

         Russia does its best to strengthen peaceful co-operation with all states and countries. It’s not interested in waging new wars. We are ready for normal relations, active dialogues on all levels and solutions of pressing international problems.

         The national flag of the Russian Federation is three coloured: white, blue and red. White has always meant noble and sincere, blue symbolizes honesty and devotion, and red means love and bravery. The symbol of the country is two‑headed eagle. Russia’s hymn was created by Alexandrov and Mikhailov.

         According to the Chronicle the history of Early Russia began in the year 862. That year Rurik became the first Russian Prince having merged Novgorod and Kiev. Rurik’s successor Prince Oleg did his best to strengthen and expand the nascent state. In  988, Prince Vladimir, the Red Sun, baptised Russia. After the adoption of Christianity churches and monasteries sprang up in the country. From the 10th to the 12th centuries Russia was a progressive Christian state. The hordes of armed normads conquered the Russian land in the 13th century. The yoke lasted till 1380. The Tatar yoke was thrown off during the reign of Ivan III. All the Russian Tsars contributed greatly to the development of  our motherland: Siberia become a part of Russia under Ivan IV, Peter I started a lot of reforms, won victories over Sweden, founded a new capital on the Baltic Sea, Catherine II continued reforms, won victories over Poland and wars in the Crimea, Russia won the war with Napoleon. Russia also took part in the World War I and II.

         The capital of the Russian Federation is Moscow. It was founded by the Russian Prince Yury Dolgorukyi. Moscow is the seat of the Russian Government.

         The ecological situation in our homeland 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 wild life is in danger. Anyhow, more and more people are beginning to realize that a clean environment is extremely important.

         Many Russians are religious people. The main church is the Russian Orthodox church. But not all people belong to the Orthodox Church. There are other religions too and there are a lot of people who are non‑believers.

         Russia honours its own traditions and customs. The Russians are very hospitable people. They like to celebrate  holidays with a lot of food and drinks. The main dishes of the traditional menu are blini (pancakes) with honey, caviar or sour cream. Different soups are served with mustard, butter, vinegar or sour cream. Russian people eat brown bread with nearly every meal. Perhaps the greatest Russian love is tea. It is drunk without milk and is often served with home-made jam, baranky and pirozhky.

         Russia has a lot of successes and achievements. A lot of famous people were born in our homeland who highly contributed to the development of the Russian culture and science. Mikhail Lomonosov was a physicist, an artist, an astronomer, a historian and a statesman. He was also the founder of the first Russian university. Andrey Sakharov took an active part in developing the hydrogen bomb. He was awarded with the Nobel Peace prize.

         So, in conclusion I can say that I’m very proud that I was born in Russia.