Of the 150 million people in the Russian Federation, about 125 million are native speakers. Many members of other nations speak the language with varying degrees of fluency.
The Russian Alphabet
Russian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, whose origin dates from the 9th century. It was created by two Greek missionaries, the brothers Cyril and Methodius, who based it largely on the Greek. The Russian alphabet is not difficult to learn. A number of letters are written and pronounced roughly the same as in English.
While learning the Russian alphabet is not especially difficult, learning to speak Russian is. There are extremely long words and unusual stresses and spellings which would be incorrect in English. There are also 3 genders - masculine, feminine, and neutral.
In spite of these difficulties, an increasing number of students worldwide are learning Russian. Furthermore, if you’re going to live in Russia, learning the language is just about the most important thing you can do to get to know the country, its people and to avoid getting lost.