Топики      для сдачи экзаменов по английскому языку Топики      для сдачи экзаменов по английскому языку
Топики      для сдачи экзаменов по английскому языку РЕФЕРАТЫ РЕКОМЕНДУЕМ  
 • Главная
 • Авиация
 • Астрономия
 • Безопасность жизнедеятельности
 • Биографии
 • Бухгалтерия и аудит
 • География
 • Геология
 • Животные
 • Иностранный язык
 • Искусство
 • История
 • Кулинария
 • Культурология
 • Лингвистика
 • Литература
 • Логистика
 • Математика
 • Машиностроение
 • Медицина
 • Менеджмент
 • Металлургия
 • Музыка
 • Педагогика
 • Политология
 • Право
 • Программирование
 • Психология
 • Реклама
 • Социология
 • Страноведение
 • Транспорт
 • Физика
 • Философия
 • Химия
 • Ценные бумаги
 • Экономика
 • Естествознание

Топики для сдачи экзаменов по английскому языку

Culture in Great Britain
you're staing in London for a fes days, you'll have no difficulty whatever in
finding somewhere to spend an enjoyable evening. You'll find opera, ballet,
comedy, drama, review, musical comedy and variety. Most theatres and
music-halls have good orchestras with popular conductors. At the West-End
theatres you can see most of the famous English actores and actresses. As a
rule, the plays are magnificently staged - costumes, dresses, scenery,
everything being done on the most lavish scale.
last half of the XVI and the beginning of the XVII centuries are known as the
golden age of English literature, It was the time of the English Renaissance,
and sometimes it is even called "the age of Shakespeare".
the greatest and most famous of English writers, and probebly the greatest
playwright who has ever lived, was born in Stratford-on-Avon. In spite of his
fame we know very little about his life. He wrote 37 plays. Among them there
are deep tragedies, such as Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, light
comedies, such as The Merry Wives of Windsor, All's Well That Ends Well,
Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing.
Customs and traditions
I am
going to tell you about English customs and traditions.
of all it concerns United Kingdom political system. In Great
there is no written constitution, only customs, traditions
precedents. After the English Revolution of 
Great Britain
is a
constitutional monarchy headed by King (now Qeen, Elixabeth
second). Traditionally the qeen acts only on the advice of her
She reigns but she does not rule.
Englishmen have traditions not only in
political, but in
life. For example, London, the capital of England, is
devided into three parts: the West End, the East end,
and the
City. The City is a histrorical, financial and business
of London. The East End is the district inhabied by the
and the West End is a fashionable shopping and
centre. English people like to spend their free time in
pubs where they can have a glass of 
beer and talk about
things with their friends.
The English are traditional about their meals.
They eat eggs
bacon with toasts for breakfast, pudding or apple pie for
Every English family has five o'clock tea. A typical
of an english house is a fireplace, even when there is
heating in the house.
English people like domestic animals. Every family
has a pet:
a dog,
a cat or a bird.
Politeness is a characteristic feature of Englishmen.
say "Thank you", "Sorry", "Beg your pardon".
Russian people,
think, have to learn this good custom.
Englishmen have many traditional
holidays, such as Christmas,
Day, Mother's day, Easter and others.
of all i'd like to tell you about my school which i've just left. My school is
one of the specialized schools in Moscow. It is famous for its high-quality
education and strict discipline. To my mind, our school-lycium is very well
equipped. It has a gym, a carteen, a library, a computer class and some labs(
for example - chemistry lab or physics lab).
two years in our lycium we had 7 or 8 lessons, but  in 10th and 11th forms we had less lessons. What about our
homework we usually had a lot to do and it took me several hours. I sometimes
had to sit up to write a composition, to prepare a report, to traslate an
article from English to Russian or to learn a poem by heart.
classes we usually had some out-of-class activities.our social and cultural
life was well-organized. For example, we had a choir and literature club.
school we had classes in Russian, literature, mathematics, English, history and
so on. My favourite subjects were English, History and Russian. On Russian we
had a lot of fun situations and talks; history, to my mind, is a very
interesting subject; and what about English, we need learning this language to
be able to read books, listen to the news, speak with English speaking people
and so on.
Now my
plans for the future. I must say that when you leave school you understand that
the time to choose your future profession has come. It's not an easy task to
make the right choice of a job. People choose profession according to their own
interests and abilities. As far as i have a computer at home I've decided to
enter some mathemetic institute. It is called МГАТУ(Moscow State Aviation- Technology
University). I'll be study there informatic and English. I think, today
computer is very popular in our country and programmists are paid very much.
system of US
the capital of the United States is situatedon the Rotomac River in the
District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land which doesn't belong to
any state but to all the states. All these states are sovereignty.
the Constitution, the federal government is devided into three branches.
legislative power is vested in Congress and made up of two houses: the Senate
and the House of Representative. There are 435 members in the House of
Representative and 100 senators. Each state elects two members of the
100-member Senate.
executive branch is headed by the President, who proposes bills to Congress,
enforces federal laws, serves as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and
with the approval of the Senate, makes treaties. President can veto a bill
unless Congress by a two-thirds vote shall overrule him.
vice President, elected from the same political party as the Oresident, acts as
chairman of the Senate, and in the event of the death of the President, assumes
the Presidency.
judicial branch is made up of Federal District Courts, 11 Federal Courts and
the Supreme Court. Federal judges are appointed by the President for life.
Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between citizens
of different states. The Supreme court may rule the law to be unconstitutional.
about the elections. The President is chosen in nation-wide elections every 4
years together with the Vice-President.
Constitution has been amended 26 times. The Bill of Rights guarantee individual
liberties: freedom of speach, religion and so on. Later amendments abolish
slavery, grant the vote to women and allow citizens to vote at age 18.
The Russian Federation
Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about
one-seventh of the earth's surface. It covers the eastern part of Europe and
the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square
kilometres. The country is washed by 12 seas of 3 oceans:the Pacific, the
Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea,
Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland,
the Baltic States, Belorussia, the Ukraine. It also has a sea-borders with the
is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation
can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midland,
tundra and taiga in the nirth, highlands and deserts in the east.
are two great plains in Russia:the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian
Lowland. There are several mountains chains on the territory of the country:
the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the
Urals, separates Europe from Asia.
are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe's biggest river, the Volga, flows
into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers- the Ob, the Yenisei and the
Lena- flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the
Pacific Ocean.
is reach in beautiful lakes. The world's deepest lake is Lake Baikal. It is
much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in
the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can
count the stones on the bottom.
has one-sixth of the world's forests. They are concentrated in the European
north of the country, in Syberia and in the Far East.
On the
vast territory of the country there are various types of climate, from arctic
in the north to subtropical in the south. In the middle of the country the
climate is temperate and continental.
is very reach in oil, iron ore, natural gas, copper, nickel and other mineral
is a parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President. The
legislative powers are exercised by the Duma.
capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural
and industrial centre. It's one of the oldest Russian cities.
present, the political and economic situationn in the country is rather
complicated. There are a lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian
Federation. The industrial production is decreasing. The prices are constantly
rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs
because many factories and plants are going bankrupt.
But in
spite of the problems Russia is facing at present, there are a lot of
opportunities for this country to become one of the leading countries in the
world. I'm sure that we, the younger generation, can do very much to make
Russia as strong and powerful as it used to be.
present, the political and economic situationn in the country is rather
Sport in our life
of people all over the world are fond of sports and games. Sport helps people
to stay in good shape, helps to support health and prevents from illness. Sport
makes them more organized and better disciplined in their daily activities.
always paid great attention to sport in our schools, colleges and universities.
You can hardly find a school without a gym or a sports ground. Every city and
town has a few stadiums or swimming pools where local competitions are usually
are different sporting societies and clubs in Russia. Many of them take part in
different international tournaments and are known all over the world. A great
nu,ber of world records have been set by Russian sportsmen. Our sportsmen also
win a lot of gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympic Games.
and advertisment.
people have forgotten what the world was like before TV. But today it has
become an integral part of our lives. No medium can compare with TV as a means
of information, entertainment & education. TV now plays such an important
role in so many people's lives that it is essential for us to try to decide
whether it is bad or good.
On the
first place TV is not only a convenient source of entertainment, but also a
compartively cheap one. For a family of 4, for example, it is more convenient
as well as cheaper to sit comfortably at home than to go out. They don't have
to pay for expensive tickets. All they have to do is to turn on TV and they can
see fik\lms, political discussions and the latest exciting football matches.
Some people say that this is fust where the danger lies. The TV viewers need do
nothing: they make no choices, they're complitely passive & don't even use
their legs.
people often say, informs about current events and the latest developments in
science and politics. A lot of good films, music programms have appeared
recently on TV. Yet here again there is a danger. We get to like watching TV so
much that it begins to dominate our lives. A friend of mine told me that when
his TVset broke he & his family suddenly found that they had much more time
to do things.
most important thing which is really critising is poor quality of the programms
and its harmful effect on children. For example the film " Natural Born
Killers" teaches children to kill and there was one eccident in France
when a group of teenagers kill their parents.
are many arguments for and against TV. I think we must understand that TV in
itself is neither good nor bad. TV is as good or as bad as we make it.
1ѕ«”      Washington
I am
going to tell you about Washington.Washington, the capital of the United States
is situated on
Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a
of land which does not belong to any one state but to all the
The district is named in honour of Columbus, the discoverer
Washington was founded in 1791 for the purpose of serving as
capital of the United States of America. George Washington
the place located midway to keep at close touch as possible
the states.  Washington is quite new as
it didn't exist for
hundred years. The population of the city is nearly million
It is not a very large city, but it is very important as
capital of the USA. There is a law in Washington against
structures higher than the Capitol; therefore it presents
different appearance from New York with its skyscrapers.
Washington has
many historical places. The largest and tallest
is the
Capitol, where the Congress meets. It is a very beautiful
with white marble columns. Not far from the Capitol is the
of Congress. It holds five million books.
The White House, the residence
of the president is the oldest
structure in the capital and one of the most beautiful. It
built in 1799. It is a two storied white building. It is said
that in
1812 when England was at war with America the British
the city and some of the buildings, including the Capitol
and the
house of the president were set on fire. Two years later in
to hide the marks of the fire, the brown stone walls of the
home were painted white and it has been the White House
Not far from the Capitol is the Washington monument, which
like a very big pencil. It rises 160 metres and it is empty
A special lift brings visitors to the top in 70 seconds,
where they can enjoy a view of the city.
The Jefferson Memorial was built
in memory of the third
of the USA Thomas Jefferson, who was also the author of
Declaration of Independence. The Memorial is surrounded by
The Lincoln Memorial is devoted to the memory of the sixteenth
President of the USA, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation,
gave freedom to Negro slaves in America.
Education in GB
I know
English boys and girls begin to go to school(it is called "infant")
at five; at seven they go to junior schools or departments; at eleven they go
to secondary schools. (After selection procedures at the age of eleven they can
study at different types of secondary shool: grammar schools which provide an
academic education oriented toeards university entry; secondary modern schools
which were originally designed to give a general education with a practical
bias(уклон); a few secondary technics schools offering a general education
related to industry, commerce and agriculture; and schools providing all three
or any two types of education, in separately orginized streams known as
multilateral or bilateral schools).
schools consist of denominational and non-denominational schools. I'd like to
yell you about non-denominational school. One must study there for 6 years.
It's open to all boys and girls. There are the six  years in this school. During the first year  all classes recieve the same basic core of
subjects namely English, maths, history, geography, science, French, art,
music, P.E., technical subjects & home economics. Toward the end of the
second year pupils are asked to make their subject choices for third and forth
years. Desicions on this stage are only taken after interviews involving
parents, staff and the pupils themselfs. The curriculum in 3rd and 4th years
consistsof compulsory section (обязательное разделение) which includes English,
math and an options section made up of those subjects choosen by the pupil at
the end of the second year. Optionl cources are designed to give a sound basic
system of higher education in Britain includes universities, colleges of
education and advanced cources at various colleges.
are more than 44 universities in Britain. But not all universities are equil.
They differ from one another in history and tradition. The oldest and
world-known universities are Oxford and Cambridge.
university usually consists of colleges. The departments of the colleges are
organized into faculties. In the university students have a series of lectures,
seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes. Lectures are given to large groups
of students while seminars are much smaller than lectures. Lectures and
seminars are all one hour in length, laboratory classes last 2 or 3 hours. The
academic year devides into 3 terms. First two termslast for 24 weeks; the 3rd
term is reserved for classes and examinations and lasts for six weeks.
three years of study a university graduate will leave with the Degree of
Bachelor of Arts or Science. Student can continue to take his Master's Degree
and then the Doctor's.
in Russia.
of Russia have the right to education which is guaranteed by the Constitution.
The public educational system in our country incorporates pre-school, general
school, specialized secondary and higher education.
consists of kindergartens and creches. Children there learn reading, writing
and arithmetic. But pre-school education isn't compulsory - children can get it
at home.
education is for children from 6(7) to 17 years of age.
main link in the system of education is the general school which prepares the
younger generation for life and work in modern production. There are various
types of schools: general secondary schools, schools specializing in a certain
subject, high schools, lyceums and so on. Tuition in most of them is free of
charge, but some new types of schools are fee-paying. The term of study in a
general secondary school is 11 years and consists of primery, middle and upper
stages. At the middle stage of a secondary school the children learn the basic
laws of nature and society at the lessons of history, algebra, literature,
physics and many others.
9th form pupils have to sit for examinations. Also they have a choice between
entering the 10th grade of a general secondary school and enroling in a
specialized secondary or vocational school.
who finish the general secondary school, recieve a secondary education
certificate, giving them the right to enter any higher educational
establishment. Entrance examinations are held in July and August. Institutions
are headed by rectors; the faculties are headed by the deans. One has to study
in the institute for 5 years. Higher educational institutions train students in
one or several specializations.
poisoning of the world's land, air, and water is the fastest-spreading disease
of civilisation. It probably produces fewer headlines than wars, earthquakes
and floods, but it is potentially one of history's greatest dangers to human
life on earth. If present trends continue for the next several decades, our
planet will become uninhabitable.
pollution and energy consumption have created such planet-wide problems as
massive deforestation, ozone depletion, acid rains and the global warming that
is believed to be coused by the greenhouse effect.
seas are in danger. They are filled with poison: industrial and nuclear waste,
chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Mediterranean is already nearly dead;
the North Sea is following. The Aral Sea is on the brink of extinction. If
nothing is done about it, one day nothing will be able to live in the seas.
ten minutes one kind of enimal, plant or insect dies out for ever. If nothing
is done about it, one million species that are alive today will have become
extinct twenty years from now.
population is a very serious problem. In Cairo just breathing the air is life
threatening- equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The same
holds true for Mexico City and 600 cities of the former Soviet Union.
enterprises emit tons of harmful substunces. These emissions have disastrous
consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect
and acid rains.
An even
greater environmental threat are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic
the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are.
are beginning to realise that environmenta problems are not somebody else's.
They join and support various international organosation and green parties. If
governments wake up to what is happening- perhaps we'll be able to avoid the
disaster that threatens the natural world and all of us with it.
to be coused by the greenhouse effect.
seas are in danger. They are filled withЂљv$r&nMeџ
1ѕ«P      Great
United Kingdom of G.B. and Northen Irelands is situated on the British Isles/
The British Isles consists of two large islands, G.B. and Ireland, and about
five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 square
The UK
is made up of four countries:England, Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland. GB
consists of England, Scotland and Wales and doesn't include Northen Ireland.
The capital of the UK is London.
British Isles are separated from European continent by the North Sea and the
English Channel. The western coast of GB is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and
the Irish Sea.
surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is
mountainous and is called the Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful
valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands.
are a lot of rivers in GB, but they are not very long. The Severn is the
longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters if Gulf Stream influence the
climate of the British Isles. The weather in GB is very changeable. A fine
morning can change into a wet afternoon and evening and the wrong side out. The
english people say:"Other countries have a climate; in England we have
weather." The English also say that they have three variants of weather:
when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or t\when it rains
all day long.
weather is the favourite conversational topic in GB. After they greet each
other they start talking the weather.
best time of the year in GB is spring(of course, it rains in spring too). The
two worst months in britain are January and February. They are cold, damp and
unpleasant. The best place in the world then is at home by the big fire. Summer
months are rather cold and there can be a lot of rainy days. So most people who
look forward to summer holidays, plan to go abroad for the summer.
most unpleasant aspect of English weather is fog and smog. This  is extremely bad in big cities especially in
London. The fog spreads everywhere so cars move along slowly and people can't
see each other. They try not to be run over by a car but still accidents are
frequent in the fog.
The Hermitage Gallery
like to tell you about the Hermitage Gallery, one of the
and well known museums in the world. Two months ago
with my classmates I was on an exersion in S. Petersburg.
visited many places of interest including the Hermitage Gallery.
I was
greatly impressed by visiting this museum of art. It was
in 1764 by Ecatherine the Second when she bought 225
in Berlin. Now the Hermitage consists of five buildings.
Now I'd like to
tell you about pictures, sculptures and other
of art I've seen in the Hermitage Gallery. A great number of
pictures are offered there. Everyone can find some kind
pictures to enjoy, for example the pictures by the world's
masters : Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrands, Rubens and
others. All great schools of paintings are represented there:
Spanish, German etc.
A few words about sculptures. I saw a lot of  vases, staues and
The most beautiful thing I have ever seen was the
belonged to Alexander the Second.
Among other outstanding peices of art I
saw the coach of
the Second and beautiful gobelens. It took 60 years to
one of these gobelens.
In conclusion I'd like to stress that no one can
for the one visit. To enjoy the Hermitage Gallery you
visit it several times.
State Hermitage in St Petrsburg is one of the world's most outstanding art
museums. It is the largest fine arts museum in Russia.
famour is the collection of West-European paintings covering a span of about
seven hundreds years, from the 13th to the 20th centure, and comprising works
by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, El |Greco. Velasquez, Murillo;
outstanding paintings by Rembrandt, Va-Dyck, Rubens; a remarkable group of
French 18th-centure canvases, and Impressionist and Post Impressionist
paintings. The collection illustrates the art of Italy, Spain, Holland,
Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and some
other countries. The West-European Department also includes a fine collectin of
European sculpture, containing works by Michelangelo, Canova, Falconet, Houdon,
Rodin and many other eminent masters. The Hermitage, together with the Pushkin
Fine Arts Museum in Moscow, must be ranked among the richest in the world in
respect of Impressionist art.
addition to the works of Western masters, the Hermitage has sections devoted to
the arts of India, China, Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Pre-|Columbian America,
Greece and Rome, as well as a department of prehistoric art, not to mention a
section devoted to Scythian art. People come to admire the collections of
tapestry, precious textiles, weapons, ivories, pottery, porcelain and furniture
as well.
differ like tastes. If you have chosen a hobby according to your character and
taste you are lucky because your life becomes more interesting.Hobbies are
devided into 4 large groups: doing, making, collecting and learning things. The
most popular of all hobby groups is doing things It includes gardening,
travelling, playing games and so on. Making things includes drawing, painting,
writing music.
My main
hobby is to collect compact disks.
matter what kind of hobby a person has, he always has the opportunity of
learning from it. By reading about the fthings he is interested in, he is
adding to what he knows. Learning things can be the most exciting aspect of a
smaller than Oregon, Laos is a mountainous Southeast Asia country ruled by
communists. The population of this little country is about 3 and a half million
One of
the poorest and most underdeveloped nations of the world, Laos depends on aid
from other countries to import the food and other goods its people need to
survive. Most of the people are rice farmers. Few can read and write.
80  percent of the country is rugged
jungle terrain. The main river is Mekong River-the system of irrigate.
Now i'd
like to tell you about the history of Laos. First Laotian territory was the
seat of the Buddhist kingdom of Lan Xang, founded in 1353 by King Fa Ngum. Laos
was invided by France in 1893 and by Japanese forces in 1941. During the World
War II King Sisavang Vong proclaimed himself king of all Laos.
A new
coalition government under Premier Souvanna Phouma that included 5 members of
the communist Pathet Lao was sworn in on April 5, 1974.
middle Eastern nation of Kuwait is the second most prosperous country in the
world. It i sthe area's third-largest producer of oil, surpassed only by Saudi
Arabia and Iran. Kuwait has given and loaned billions of dollars to poorer Arab
states, has invested billions in the United States and other industrial
countries and purchased planes and other equipment for Arab states opposing
gobvernment also has used its oil to give medical services, education and
social welfare to everyone in Kuwait. Local telephone service is also free, and
almost every family owns at least one car and one TV set. There no income
Now i'd
like to tell you about the history of Kuwait. In the 1700s Arab nomads founded
the town of Kuwait. Under the leadership Sabah Abu Abdullah Kuwait's population
grew to several thousand (now the population of Kuwait is about 988 thousands
of people). With the discovery of oil in Kuwait in 1938, and its development
after 1945, Iraq decided in 1952 to renew an ancient claim to Kuwait,
but it
was rejected by the British. In 1961 Kuwait became a fully independent nation.
But in 1973 Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait and only after Saudi Arabia had sent
more than 15,000 troops to assist Kuwait, Iraq withdrew. In March 1975 the
government took complete control of the oil and gas industry from US and other
foreign owners, increasing it's annual income to $10 billion or more a year.
Kuwait is a monarchy which is rulled by the Emir Sheikh Saban al-Salim al-Sabah
(raigned since 1985). It's area is about 7,7 square miles. Official language is
Arabic, but there are also Persian and English in Kuwait. Religion: Islam.
Places of interest:Oil wells, modern city of Kuwait, royal residences and so
all i would like you to say about Kuwait.
Eastern nation of Kuwait iЂ†vQ
is the capital of Russia, its political, economic, commercial and cultural
centre. It was founded 8 centurys ago by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1147.
Gradually the city became more and more powerfull. In the 13th century Moscow
was the centre of the struggle of Russian lands for the liberation from the
tartar yoke. In the 16th century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow became the
capital of the new united state. Though Peter the Great moved the capital to
St. Petersburg in 1712; Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That's why it
became the main target of Napoleon's attack. After the October revolution
Moscow became the capital again.
moscow is one of the largest cities in Europe. Its total area is about nine
hundred square kilometres. The population of the city is over 8 million.
is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The heart of Moscow is Red
Square. The Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral (Vasily Blazheny) are
masterpieces of encient Russian architecture. On the territory of the Kremlin
you can see old cathedrals, the Palace of Congresses, the Tzar-Cannon and the
Tzar-Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world. St. Basil's Cathedral was
built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan.
One of
the well-known Kremlin museums is the Armouty Chamber. The famous golden cap of
Monomach, the first Russian imperial crown of Catherin the second and many
other historical items are exhibited there.
are more than 80 museums in Moscow. The Historical Museum, the Pushkin Museum
of Fine Arts, the Tretyakov State Picture Gallery are world famous and the
is famous for its theatres. The best-known of them are Bolshoi, Maly and Art
is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the centre of political
life of the country.