A language is more than a medium of communication. It is a means by which individuals of different communities are distinguished from each other. Some languages such as English and Chinese are used throughout the world. Besides, they hold the status of ‘business’ languages. On the other hand, some languages such as Russian are less known but have a significant number of speakers. there are many Russian-speaking countries in the world. 

The Russian language and culture have spread across the world through the course of history. It happened mainly due to the Soviet era which largely contributed to its spread. At that time, Russian was the main working language used across the USSR. Today, Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It’s the most common language in the European Union. Speaking about how many people speak Russian, it is spoken by approximately 258 million people worldwide.

Table of Content

  1. Which countries speak Russian?
    1. Russia
    2. Belarus
    3. Kazakhstan
    4. Kyrgyzstan
    5. Ukraine
    6. Moldova
    7. Latvia
  2. The Last Word

Which countries speak Russian?

Despite the dominance of other languages, the Russian language still remains the medium of communication for a large number of people. Russia itself is a big country. It exerts a large sphere of influence on the world. Perhaps this is why many people use the help of a professional translation agency to learn the language.

Here is the list of Russian Speaking Countries


When it comes to who speaks Russian, Russia and its inhabitants top the list with a with a population of 144.4 million people, the Russian language is the dominant language in the region. The majority of the Russian population speaks the language, which amounts to 118 million. Russian is the only official language spoken in the country. However, Russia’s ethnic groups speak other 100 languages, such as Tatar and Chechen.


Belarus is an Eastern European country that has been a part of the Russian Empire for a long time. It has a population of 9 million people. It is the second country that speaks Russian after Russia. So if you wonder which country speak Russian other than Russia itself, it is none other than Belarus. Out of these, 6.6 million speak the Russian language. However, Belarus remains one of the top countries where Russian is so widely spoken. The official languages of the country are both Russian and Belarusian.

But, the Russian language is dominant in the spheres of entertainment and education. Interestingly, the Belarusian language resembles the Russian language to a large extent. It means that a person who knows Belarusian would not have a hard time understanding the Russian language.


Situated at the center of Asia, Kazakhstan is a diverse nation with around 130 ethnic factions. One of these groups includes the Russian population which is credited for the popularity of the language in the state. The existence of this Russian group may be attributed to the fact that Kazakhstan was a part of the Russian Territory and the USSR.

However, Russian is not the official language in the country. However, the constitution of Kazakhstan has allowed Russian to have equal ranking as Kazakh for administrative and business purposes. This is why a large population speaks the Russian language both at work and at home.


Located in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a country that was formerly a part of the Russian Empire and USSR. The official language of the country is Russian along with Kyrgyz. Many people speak it as a second language. But, a very small part of the total population considers it as their native language.

Out of a total population of 5.9 million, approximately 482,000 speak the Russian language as their native tongue. Other than that, Russian is used for both business and legal affairs.


The estimated population of Russian speakers in this country is the largest after Russia. There are approximately 14 million Russian speakers out of a total population of 43 million. The reason for this may be due to the fact that it was formerly a part of the Russian Empire. The state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian.

Although many consider Russian as their native language. In addition, the Eastern and Southern regions of this country have the highest number of Russian speakers. This is so due to its geographical closeness with Russia.


This Eastern European nation lies between Ukraine and Romania. Like many of the neighboring states, Moldova was also a part of Russia. However, there has been a debate about the status of Moldova’s official language. The Declaration of Independence declared Romanian as the official language. However, the Constitution declared Moldovan as the official language.

The Moldovan language is spoken by more people. But, Romanian is still the official language of the state. Many Moldovans, on the other hand, are fluent in Russian. However, it is not as widely spoken as Moldovan or Romanian. Still, the estimated number of Russian speakers is 264,162.


Latvia is a Baltic country and a member of the European Union. It was also a former part of the Russian Empire. Latvian is the country’s only official language. But, over half of the total population speaks Russian fluently. Also, almost a quarter of it speaks it as a primary language.

This is the reason why the number of total Russian speakers in the country is 698,757 out of 1 million total population. Recent educational reforms, however, aim to make Latvian the only medium of instruction for higher education.Thus, Russian is fast fading.

The Last Word

The list given above entails the main countries where Russian is widely spoken. However, the list of countries speaking it is more than this. This is because many of the countries around Russia were formerly a part of this country. Besides, many other countries around the world have a sizable population of immigrants who have Russian as their native language.

Nevertheless, a tourist or a student interested in speaking the Russian language would first need to hire an expert translation partner in order to learn this language, as it is not only spoken in Russia but around the world as well.