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DIALOGUES. — Mike, are you proud of your native country?
— Mike, are you proud of your native country?
— Of course, I am. Russia is the largest country in the world and it is very rich.
— What do you mean?
— I mean that it has thick forests and high mountains, long rivers and deep lakes. What is more, it is rich in mineral resources: oil, gas, coal, diamonds and gold.
— That's great! And what are the longest rivers in your country?
— The longest river on the European territory of Russia is the Volga, and the main Siberian rivers arc the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena.
— And what about the mountains? Are they very high?
— The Caucasus is the youngest and the highest mountain system in Russia, whereas the Urals are the oldest mountains and they are not very high.
— Every country is proud of its people. What can you say about the Russians?
— Whoever comes to Russia, they all say that Russian people arc wonderful. They are kind and hospitable, clever and inventive. There arc a lot of talented people in my country. People all over the world know the names of A. Pushkin, P. Tchaikovsky and Yuri Gagarin.
— I can't but agree that Russia has produced a galaxy of outstanding people.
— The land of Russia varies greatly, doesn't it?
— Yes, it does. We have thick forests and vast plains, high mountains and deep valleys.
— And what are the main mountain systems?
— The main mountain chains arc the Caucasus, the Urals and the Altai. The Caucasus is the highest mountain system and Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in the Caucasus, in the Russian Federation and in the whole Europe.
— And what about the Urals? Are these mountains high?
— Oh, no! This mountain chain is rather old, that is why the mountains arc not very high. The Urals form a natural border between Europe and Asia. They are famous for their valuable minerals and gemstones.
— Well, I know that vegetation in Russia is as diverse as its landscapes. Is that true?
— Yes, you are right. Russia is so big that there are six vegetation zones stretching across the country. In Russia you can find almost all kinds of trees: birches, maples, oaks, cedars, larches, fir-trees, pines, iron and cork trees, and even lianas.
— And what about animals?
— Oh, Russia is rich in animals too. You can find white bean? and polar foxes in the north; wolves, elks and roes in the forest zone; and tigers and leopards in the Far East.
— Really? That's great!
— Hello! Where are you from?
— Hello! I'm from Russia.
— What is your home city?
— My home city is Moscow, the capital of Russia.
— Are there any places of interest in Moscow?
— Of course. There are many of them: the Kremlin, Red Square, Arbat Street, a lot of museums, galleries and monuments, churches and cathedrals.
— What is the centre of Moscow?
— It's Red Square. There are a lot of interesting places in Red Square. The most ancient monument of Red Square is St. Bazil's Cathedral. You can see Lobnoye Mesto near the Cathedral. It was erected in the 16th century.
— What was it used for?
— The tsar's orders were read from it. It was also used as a place for execution. The Lenin Mausoleum is in the centre of the square too. It was originally made of wood and in 1930 it was rebuilt and made of stone, brick, marble and granite.
— Are the streets wide or narrow in Moscow?
— They are both wide and narrow. There are a lot of modern houses in Moscow but you can see old houses too. They are being reconstructed or pulled down.
— And what is the area of the city?
— It's over 1,000 square kilometres.
— What is the population of your city?
— It's over 10 million people.
— You live in a great country. Who is your country proud of?
— My country is proud of its people who brought fame to their country. My country was the first to launch a man into space. Nobel prizes for science, literature and peace have been won by Russian citizens. In the fields of art, media and sport Russia enjoy international reputation. Russia has nuclear weapons, a strong army and remains a widely-respected country.
— What traditions do people in Russia keep?
— People in Russia keep their old traditions and are very proud of them. They celebrate religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas and Maslenitsa. They eat traditional food for Maslenitsa such as pancakes with honey, caviar or sour cream. They colour eggs, bake kulich cakes, make a paskha out of cottage cheese for Easter.
— Are the Russians religious people?
— Many of them are. The main church in Russia is the Orthodox Church, but there are other religions too. The Orthodox Church has survived during the hard times and now we speak about a rebirth of religion in our country.
— What are the symbols of Russia?
— The national emblem of Russia is the double-headed eagle. Our national flag is made up of three stripes: white, blue and red. Another symbol of Russia is the Spasskaya Tower, because the Kremlin clock made in the 16th century is on it. You see, you have a lot of questions. That's why I invite you to visit my country and to see everything with your own eyes.