History, Language & Culture Russia
Geographical distribution of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic peoples Russia's 193 ethnic groups speak over 100 languages. According to the 2002 Census, 142.6 million people speak Russian, followed by Tatar with 5.3 million and Ukrainian with 1.8 million speakers. Russian is the only official state language, but the Constitution gives the individual republics the right to establish their own state languages in addition to Russian. Despite its wide distribution, the Russian language is homogeneous throughout the country. Russian is the most spoken native language in Europe, and the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, as well as the most widely spoken Slavic language. It belongs to the Indo-European language family and is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages, the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn). Written examples of Old East Slavic (Old Russian) are attested from the 10th century onwards.
Russian is the second-most used language on the Internet after English, one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station and is one of the six official languages of the UN. 35 languages are officially recognised in Russia in various regions by local governments.
Official language and national language Russian