Around 265 million people speak Russian, and it is especially popular in 17 countries besides Russia
Russian is the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and it’s considered an unofficial lingua franca in Ukraine and many former Soviet countries. These include Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Many Russian speaking immigrants live in Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, China, the U.S. and Israel.
In the list of most widely spoken languages in the world, Russian is on place number 8. Its native language for more than 2 % of entire global population.
There are roughly 900,000 Russian speakers in the U.S. out of our total population of 297 million. In the 18th century, first Russian explorers arrived in Alaska.Russian is the most geographically widespread language in all of Eurasia. There are probably close to 166 million Russian speakers in Europe.
Russian is officially recognized and used in business, the state sector, media, education and culture; and it’s used by the political elite and among younger people who plan to enroll in Russian universities.
Russian also has official status in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, but there are limits. In Kazakhstan a court trial must be held in Kazakh, while in different regions of Kyrgyzstan there are various situations when Russian can be used officially.
According to the 2011 census in Latvia, 37.2 percent of the population considers Russian as their primary language.
Russian is also an official language for several major international organizations such as the CIS, United Nations (including IAEA, UNESCO, WHO and others), Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Antarctic Treaty Secretariat and many others.
By the way, in New York State all documents regarding elections in cities with a population of more than one million must be translated into Russian (as well as Spanish, Korean, Chinese and a few others).
According to different sources, there are between 250000 and 500000 who speak Russian being abroad. Forbes calculated that in 2017 there were as many as 1.5 million Russian-speaking residents in Israel, whose total population is about 8.6 million. Russian is also widely spoken in Germany (as the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported in 2003), with around 6 million Russian speakers, half of who are Soviet-era émigrés.
So, Russian language is widely spread around the world. Speaking the Russian language will help you empathize with the people who speak it. You can also establish professional relationships or new friendships during one of your trips.
When learning Russian, you’ll meet many who share the same passion for Russia. Perhaps Russians, but also or others who, like you, are learning the language.
Learning Russian makes you understand useful concepts for studying other languages, too. It will also help you understand your mother tongue even more.
So, if you speak Russian, you will always find to practice it with, cause so many nationalities speak Russian, practice will make it perfect.