Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of three living members of the East Slavic languages.
Today Russian is widely used outside Russia. Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian.
Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Russian distinguishes between consonant phonemes with palatal secondary articulation and those without, the so-called soft and hard sounds. This distinction is found between pairs of almost all consonants and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language. Another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels, which is somewhat similar to that of English.The Russian Language is Regulated by the Russian Language Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences.