Welcome to the Russian Wikibook. Russian is an East Slavic language, and is grouped with Ukrainian and Belarusian. Russian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet. Russian was the official language of the Soviet Union, and remains the official language of Russia. Russian is also an official language in former Soviet countries such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, and it is an official language of the United Nations. Outside the former USSR, there are large communities of Russian-speakers in every part of the world. Even astronauts, who work with the International Space Station, are trained to speak Russian to some form of fluency as there are Russian cosmonauts who operate the ISS.
Knowledge of the Russian language will increase appreciation of a rich and diverse body of literature, and assist in learning other languages of the Slavic family (like Polish, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Bulgarian). It is not an easy language to take on, as an entirely new alphabet and grammatical structure slow down beginners. With practice and immerssion, Russian will become a passion, and soon after, an acquired language.
The Russian Wikibook is structured in a way to present the most integrated material in short, easy to digest lessons. To begin, read the Introduction and learn how best to learn with this book.
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