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STATE SYSTEM OF THE 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.

A 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.

 

The questions to be answered:

1. What branches does the Government consist of?

2. What is the legislative power exercised by?

3. How is a law made?

4. What body does the executive power belong to?

5. What does the system of courts consist of?

6. What are the national symbols of Russia?

 

IX. Decide whether the following statements are true(T) or false (F). Correct them if necessary.

 

1. The form of government in Russia is a monarchy.

2. The Head of State in Russia is the Queen.

3. The government consists of three branches.

4. The Federal Assembly consists of two chambers.

5. Each chamber of the Federal Assembly is headed by the President.

6. The members of the Federal Assembly are elected for 2 years.

7. The government is headed by the Prime Minister.

8. The judicial power belongs to the Prime Minister.

 

X. Complete the sentences.

 

1. Russia is a __________ republic.

2. The Head of State in Russia is the __________.

3. The government consists of 3 branches: legislative, _________ and _______.

4. The _________ power is exercised by the Federal Assembly.

5. A bill becomes a law if it is approved by both _______ and _______ by the President.

6. The executive power belongs to _________.

7. The _________ power belongs to the system of courts.

 

XI. Study the diagram below. Use it to answer the questions that follow.

 

THE SYSTEM OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
HEAD OF THE STATE THE PRESIDENT elected for 4 years by direct popular vote (over 35 years old; a citizen of Russia, a resident of the country for at least10 years)
LEGISLATIVE AND REPRESENTATIVE BRANCH FEDERAL ASSEMBLY the COUNCIL of FEDERATION the STATE DUMA two representatives from each 450 members elected for 4 years subject of Federation
EXECUTIVE BRANCH the GOVERNMENT of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION the PRIME MINISTER the CABINET appointed by the President and formed by the Prime minister approved by the State Duma and approved by the President
JUDICIAL BRANCH the CONSTITUTIONAL the SUPREME the ARBITRATION COURT COURT COURT all appointed by the Council of Federation

 

Answer the following questions:

1. How is the government in Russia organised?

2. Can you name the branches of government? Who is in each branch?

3. Do we have a president? A prime minister?

4. How is the President of the Russian Federation elected?

5. Who can be the president of our country?

6. What does the Federal Assembly consist of?

7. How many members are there in the State Duma?

8. How often do we re-elect the State Duma?

9. Who makes the Council of Federation?

10. What can you say about the structure of the executive branch?

11. Do we have any political parties in our country?

12. What parties do you know?

13. Does the party that wins the most seats in the State Duma choose the prime minister?

14. What is the way of appointing the prime minister in our country?

15. Who forms the Cabinet of ministers?

16. What is the judicial branch represented by?

 

XII. Translate the following into English:

 

1. Российская Федерация - это государство, построенное на федеральной основе.

2. В соответствии с конституцией, принятой в 1993 году, государственную власть в Российской Федерации осуществляют Президент Российской Федерации, Федеральное Собрание, Правительство России и суды.

3. Конституция гарантирует основные права и свободы каждого.

4. Президентом может быть гражданин Российской Федерации не моложе 35 лет, постоянно проживающий в России не менее 10 лет.

5. Президент назначает премьер-министра, который становится главой правительства (кабинета министров).

6. Президент является Верховным Главнокомандующим Вооруженными силами. Он формирует и возглавляет Совет Безопасности Российской Федерации.

7. Президент обладает полномочиями назначать выборы Государственной Думы, распускать Думу, вносить законопроекты на рассмотрение в Госдуму, подписывать и обнародовать федеральные законы.

8. Федеральное Собрание состоит из двух палат - Совета Федераций и Государственной Думы.

9. Депутатом Государственной Думы может быть избран гражданин России старше 21 года.

10. Каждый законопроект рассматривается Госдумой и становится законом после принятия его двумя третями депутатов.

11. Правительство обладает полномочиями разрабатывать федеральный бюджет и обеспечивает его исполнение.

12. Министры правительства несут ответственность за проведение в жизнь финансовой политики.

13. Судебная власть представлена Конституционным Судом, Верховным Судом и Арбитражным Судом.

14. Конституционный Суд решает дела о соответствии Конституции Российской Федерации.

 

XIII. Complete the following in writing.

 

1. We have a population of around ................................. million, bigger than ................................. , but smaller than ................................. . To the north lies ................................, to the south is ................................; ................................. is to the east and ................................. is to the west. The people in the north/west have a reputation for being a bit................................., but in the south/east the people are much more ................................. .

 

2. ................................. is a (very) hilly / mountainous / flat country. The highest mountain is ................................. and the most important river is the ................................. . Another important feature of my country is ................................. . The climate is ................................. . When you talk to people about................................. they tend to think of places like ................................. and ................................. which are very ................................. . But there are also places like ................................. and ................................. which are ................................. and ................................. and well worth visiting.

 

3. The main regions are ................................. . Of these the most important is ................................. because ................................. . The main cities are the capital ................................. and ................................. . If you could only spend a day / weekend / week in ................................. I would recommend you visit................................. and go to ................................. . You should also make sure you see ................................. . And the ................................. is not to be missed! The city I like best is ................................. because ....................................................... . I was born in ................................. and my mother and father come from ................................. . The best place to go on holiday in ................................. is ................................., because ................................., but don't go in ................................. as it gets very hot / crowded.

 

4. Our main exports include ............................................................................... .................................. is / are grown in .................................................................. ................................. is / are produced in .............................................................. .

 

5. Ask people the name of a famous ................................. and they'll probably say ................................., but we also have ................................. who is / was famous for ............................... . The thing my country is most famous for is ............................... . The thing I am most proud of in my country is ............................... .

 

XIV. Describe your own country. Answer these questions as fully as you can:

 

1. What is the population of your country?

2. What sort of place is it - hilly? mountainous? flat? lots of lakes?

3. Are the different regions very different from each other?

4. What are the four major cities?

5. Why are they important?

6. What are the main industries?

7. What about exports?

8. What is your country most famous for?

 


DIALOGUES

a) Read the dialogues in pairs.

I

Foreigner. We’ve been touring Russia for about two weeks and I must say it is a very large country.

Russian. In fact it is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one-seventh of the earth’s surface. Its total area is about 17 mln square kilometers.

Foreigner. What countries does it border on? Does it border on the USA?

Russian. Russia borders on 14 countries. As far as the USA is concerned, it has a sea-border with Russia.

II

Foreigner. I’ve read that Russia is extremely rich in natural resources and mineral deposits.

Russian. That’s right. We have rich deposits of coal, iron, oil, gas, copper, tin, lead, gold, and so on. In other words, all the elements of the Mendeleev Periodic Table can be found in Russia.

Foreigner. But the climate of the country is severe.

Russian. That’s not quite so. The climate is different in different parts of Russia. It varies from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south.

Foreigner. And what type of climate is in the central part of Russia?

Russian. In the central part of the country the climate is temperate and continental.

III

Foreigner. What’s the political structure of Russia? Is it a federation or a unitary state as Britain for example?

Russian. Russia is a union of regions and territories, on the one hand, and autonomous republics, each representing a certain nationality, on the other hand.

 

IV

Russian. Have you ever been to Siberia?

Foreigner. Yes, I have. It was always my dream to see it.

Russian. What places in Siberia have you visited?

Foreigner. I’ve been to Novosibirsk, the industrial and cultural centre of Siberia. I’ve also seen powerful hydroelectric stations built on Siberian rivers.

Russian. What has impressed you most?

Foreigner. The Novosibirsk scientific centre and the people of Siberia.

 

V

Foreigner. What do you think are the main problems in Russia today?

Russian. Oh, there are a lot of them. The country’s economy is being transformed into a free market model.

Foreigner. Are you optimistic about the future of Russia?

Russian. Nowadays Russia remains a powerful state enjoying a high reputation among other nations of the world. Our country has great past and promising future.

b) Learn the dialogues by heart.

JUST FOR FUN

I. Here are some proverbs and sayings, beginning with the infinitive. Read them, translate and find the Russian equivalents. Use the proverbs in a natural context.

 

1. To be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.

2. To call a spade a spade.

3. To carry coals to Newcastle.

4. To cast pearls before swine.

5. To make a mountain out of a molehill.

6. To make both ends meet.

7. To kill two birds with one stone.

8. To take the bull by the horns.

9. To work with the left hand.

10. To put the cart before the horse.

 

1. Работать спустя рукава.

2. Делать шиворот-навыворот.

3. Сводить концы с концами.

4. Называть вещи своими именами.

5. Метать бисер перед свиньями.

6. Убить двух зайцев одним выстрелом.

7. Родиться в сорочке.

8. Ездить в Тулу со своим самоваром.

9. Взять быка за рога.

10. Делать из мухи слона.

 

II. Read the joke and retell it to a friend of yours.

 

 

The shape of the Earth.

 

“What’s the shape of the Earth?” – asked Tom.

“Round,” – said Willie.

“How do you know it’s round?”

“Well,” – said Willie, “it’s square then. I shan’t argue.”

 

III. Learn the poem by heart :

 

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