Russian is a non-tonal language (intonation does not change the meaning of words) which is written using a modern version of the Cyrillic alphabet made up of 33 letters. It belongs to the Eastern Slavic language group of the Indo-European language family, which also includes Ukranian and Belorusse. Eastern Slavic languages comprised of a single language which was fragmented in the 12th century. We can distinguish three groups of dialect in European Russia: Northern Russian (5 dialects), Central Russian (6 dialects), and Southern Russian (3 dialects). Spoken by 170 million people, Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation and of Belorussia, the language of communication at the heart of the Community of Independent States (CIS), also dominant in certain regions of Kazakhstan and the Ukraine (notably in the south and west of the country and in the capital Kiev). Tourgueniev, whose judgement was ratified by Tolstoy in his Journal, said the following: "Pushkin was given two tasks to complete alone, tasks which were shared in other countries over an entire century or more: to lay down a language and create a literature"
Official languages of the UN: Arabic, English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian
Official language of the CIS (Community of Independent States)
Classification by family: Indo-European>Balto-Slavic languages>Slavic languages>Eastern Slavic languages>Russian