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.
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.