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Moscow – the capital of the Russian Federation

1. Answer the questions :

· Have you ever been to Moscow? If yes, what is your favourite place there?

· Do you know anyinteresting facts from Moscow’s history?

2. Read and translate the text:

Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia. It is also the largest metropolitan area in Europe, and ranks among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the world. It is also the seventh largest city proper in the world.

It is located on the Moscow River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin that serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian Parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.

City is named after the river. The origin of the name is unknown, although several theories exist. One theory suggests that the source of the name is an ancient Finnic language in which it means “dark” and “turbid”. The first Russian reference to Moscow dates back to 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruky called upon the Prince of the Novgorod as a brother to “come to Moscow.”

Under Ivan I the city replaced Tver as a political centre of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol-Tatar rulers. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the centre of power in Russia. Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of present-day Russia and other lands.

The plague of 1654–1656 killed half the population of Moscow. The city ceased to be Russia’s capital in 1712, after the founding of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great near the Baltic coast in 1703. The Plague of 1771 was the last massive outbreak of plague in central Russia, claiming up to 100,000 lives in Moscow alone. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Muscovites burned the city and evacuated, as Napoleon’s forces were approaching on 14 September. Napoleon’s army, plagued by hunger, cold and poor supply lines, was forced to retreat and was nearly annihilated by the devastating Russian winter and sporadic attacks by Russian military forces.

Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km through the East European Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits.

Moscow's road system is centered roughly around the Kremlin at the heart of the city. From there, roads generally radiate outwards to intersect with a sequence of circular roads (“rings”).

Moscow has a humid continental climate with warm, somewhat humid summers and long, cold winters.

There are several museums in Moscow and the State Tretyakov Gallery is the most famous among all. It contains a collection of priceless paintings and sculptures of famous artists. The exhibition of the State Tretyakov Gallery attracts thousands of tourists.

There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow. Moscow is a very green city if compared to other cities of comparable size in Western Europe and America. There are on average 27 square meters (290 sq ft) of parks per person in Moscow compared with 6 for Paris, 7.5 in London and 8.6 in New York.

Moscow is called the city of the students. There are several universities and over 2000 secondary schools in Moscow. The most famous universities are the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Gerasimov All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography, Moscow State Institute of International Relations and others.

Moscow is known as one of the most important science centres in Russia. The headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences are located in Moscow as well as numerous research and applied science institutions. The Kurchatov Institute, Russia's leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, where the first nuclear reactor in Europe was built, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems and Steklov Institute of Mathematics are all situated in Moscow.

There are five primary commercial airports serving Moscow: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Domodedovo International Airport, Bykovo Airport, Ostafyevo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport.

Primary industries in Moscow include the chemical, metallurgy, food, textile, furniture, energy production, software development and machinery industries. However, some industry is now being transferred out of Moscow to improve the ecological state of the city. Nevertheless, the city of Moscow remains one of Russia's major industrial centres.

3.Scan the text and answer the questions:

1/ When was Moscow founded? 2/Who is considered to be the founder of Moscow? 3/ How did the city get its name? 4/ Give a sketch on Moscow’s history. 5/ Why is Moscow called the city of the students?

4. Decide if the following statements are true or false T/F

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