Russia’s official language is Russian. However, Russia’s 193 minority 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. The constitution gives the individual republics of the country the right to establish their own state languages in addition to Russian.

Russian is the most spoken native language in Europe, the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, as well as the most widely spoken Slavic language in the world. It belongs to the Indo-European language family, is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages, and is among the larger Balto-Slavic languages. It 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 United Nations.