Read this text quickly and define the main idea of this text.
Russia or the Russian Federation is a transcontinental country. It is a semi-presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects. Russia shares land borders with the following countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Poland (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Democratic People's Republic of Korea. At more than 17 million square kilometres, Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 142 million people, it is the ninth largest by population. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.
Using the information from the text above, complete these sentences.
1. Russia is a … .
2. Russia shares its borders with … .
3. Russia is the largest … .
4. Russia has the world’s greatest … .
5. Russia is considered … .
6. Russia’s lakes contain … .
7. forest reserves are … .
Work with your partner. Compose 4 or 5 questions to the text.
8. Read the following words and word combinations:
AD (Anno Domini) – от Рождества Христова
Emerge – появляться
Byzantine Empire – Византийская империя
Ultimately – в конце концов
Principality – княжество
cultural and political legacy – культурное и политическое наследие
annexation – аннексия (присоединение)
successor state – государство-правопреемник
Grand Duchy of Moscow – Великое княжество Московское
9. Read the following words and expressions and guess their meaning:
nation's history, a noble Viking warrior class, Byzantine Empire, many small feudal states, reunification process, independence struggle
10. Scan the text quickly and find the English equivalents of the following words and word expressions:
восточные славяне, различимая группа, государство-правопреемник, посредст-вом завоеваний, простираясь от.
Read and translate the text about early days of Russian history.
Early History of Russia
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs. They emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD (Anno Domini). The first East Slavic state was Kievan Rus'. It arose in the 9th century and was founded and ruled by a noble Viking warrior class and their descendant. Kievan Rus' adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988. It was the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures and that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated and the lands were divided into many small feudal states. The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was Moscow (or Grand Duchy of Moscow). Moscow served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence struggle against the Golden Horde.
Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire. And it was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.