About the Russian language
Russian is the national language of Russia and is the first language for around 150 million people, most of whom live in Russia.
It is also a first language for a significant minority living in former member countries of the Soviet Union, particularly the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. It is also spoken as a second language by people in the former Soviet Union countries where the learning of it in schools was compulsory before the break-up.
It is a Slavic language in the East Slavic group along with Ukrainian and Belarusian. It is written with the Cyrillic alphabet which consists of 33 letters.
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
So why learn Russian?
Russia is a major economic power with large mineral and energy resources and a rapidly developing market economy.
It has a renowned literature which flowered in the nineteenth century through Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, and Chekhov.
It is spoken either as a first or second language in many Eastern European countries and can be useful as a fall-back where the language of the country visited is not spoken.