Russian Speaking Countries

Top 10 Russian Speaking Countries in the World [Update 2024]

There are over 258 million Russian speakers worldwide. However, this figure is likely exaggerated since it includes many people who are ancestors of Russians but no longer speak the language.

There are around 153 million native speakers. Regardless of the presence of other ethnic groups, the Russian language has dominated cultural and governmental life throughout the nation’s history. In addition, Russian is still a widely spoken language in Eastern Europe due to the Soviet Union’s past.

As a result, especially among the older generations, it is possible to travel across several nations while speaking only one language. In most of Eastern Europe, Russian is still taught as a second language, thus children learn to communicate in many languages from an early age. There is a list of top Russian speaking countries in the world:

1. Russia

Russian is Russia’s sole official language and therefore plays a vital role in the country’s unification. Russian is the primary method of instruction across many Russian schools. The Russian language was indeed a required subject in all areas’ elementary and secondary schools.

Meanwhile, courses in science and mathematics were taught in Russian in schools where an indigenous language was utilized alongside Russian. In addition, most institutions of higher learning were only accessible in Russian, and Russian was the official language of the government in all fifteen Soviet republics. With 137,500,000 individuals speaking Russian, Russia has the highest number of Russian speakers.

Around 80% of these people are fluent in the language. Nonetheless, the Russian Republic’s minority peoples, as well as the peoples of the other fourteen Soviet republics, continued to regard their own language as important, and Russian fluency remained low. It’s used for verbal and nonverbal contact, as well as for official government business

2. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is one of the top Russian speaking countries in the world

Russian is one of the two official languages in the country. More than 13 million people speak Russian in the country. Russian is used for informal communication in most spheres of life in countries.

In recent years, the former Soviet Union republic has taken steps that appear to be aimed towards separating itself from Russia. The attempt to replace Cyrillic with the Latin alphabet and a declaration by Kazakhstan’s president supporting the use of Kazakh as the primary language for communication, business, and politics are two examples.

3. Ukraine


Russian is the dominant language in Ukraine and is used for cross – functional and cross, corporation, and other methods of communication. Russian is spoken by an estimated 8.3 million Ukrainians.

Meanwhile, in the 17th century, Russian immigrants were instrumental in the transmission of Russian to Ukraine. Russian is Ukraine’s most important dominant language, which was used in government administration and public life during the Soviet era. Russian is the official language in certain parts of Ukraine, also including Crimea.

Nevertheless, Russian is used as a mode of learning in both primary and secondary schools where there are many Russian speakers. The Ukrainian authority has taken steps to reduce Russia’s influence in Ukraine by restricting the manufacture and sale of Russian language books and attempting to remove Russian as a language of education in particular.

You might also like to know about the top Arabic speaking countries in the world.

4. Kyrgyzstan

Along with Kyrgyz, Russian is an official language in Kyrgyzstan. After much pressure from the Russian community in Kyrgyzstan, Russian was declared an official language in 1997.

Currently, Russian is among the most widely used languages in the country, both in professional and casual settings. Russian is spoken as a primary or second language by 2.5 million people in the nation.

Russian is still the only language used by the government, the military, and the medical and technological communities. Furthermore, only two minority languages, Bashkir and Tatar, are recognized by Russian school systems, and university education is virtually completely done in Russian.

5. Israel

Perhaps the most frequently spoken non-official language in Israel is Russian. After mass Jewish immigration and its successor states in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s, approximately 20% of Israelis are knowledgeable in Russian.

Modern Russian-speaking immigrants make up a significant portion of Israel’s population. On the other hand, organizations with billboards in Russian may be found in both metropolitan areas and small villages, ranging from hair salons to legal offices, strewn around and occasionally concentrated in certain regions.

Most Russian speakers in Israel work in low-wage jobs, although Russians are also well-represented in high-wage jobs. Moreover, graduate students and professors who speak Russian, Russian speakers who are seeking to create their own software firms, and Russian-speakers also appear to work in surveillance and missile defense technologies.

6. Belarus

Since 1990, Belarusian, often known as White Russian, has been the official language, replacing Russian. The bulk of the population speaks Belarusian, with the majority also speaking Russian or Ukrainian.

In addition to English, Russian, and Ukrainian are spoken. Despite the fact that both languages belong to the same Slavic language family, there are major distinctions between them. Currently, Russians struggle to comprehend Belarusian, particularly when real Belarusian terms are employed.

Belarusians, on the other hand, can communicate in Russian since nearly everyone is multilingual. Approximately 20% of Belarus’s population speaks the language, and Russian is a natural language for the great majority of those that do.

7. United States

When Russian explorers landed in Alaska in the 18th century, the Russian language made its first appearance on American territory. Various groups of immigrants have dispersed around the United States since then.

As a result, out of the overall population of the United States, around 900,000 people speak Russian. With about 30% of the population, New York is home to the bulk of Russian-speaking Americans in the United States. Nevertheless, California has approximately 110,000 Russian speakers, followed by New Jersey and Illinois, each of which have over 40,000 Russian speakers.

Aside from that, Russian speakers may be found all throughout the United States as a result of historical migratory patterns as well as current political and economic factors.

8. Latvia

The Russian language in Latvia has risen from being the fourth dominant language in the country when portions of Latvia were a mixed combination at the end of the nineteenth century to becoming the second most widely spoken language in independent Latvia. About 30% of the Latvian population speaks Russian as their first language.

The remaining 70% speak at least some Russian, with some speaking it fluently. Because Latvian is not an official language, all government documents and street signs are written in Latvian. In certain organizations and sectors, it is the first language spoken. Moreover, it is frequently used as a second language in the workplace.

There are a few minority schools that teach Russian as well as other topics in Russian. Russian citizens, naturally, use it to speak with one another. Unless they don’t know each other, in which case they begin in Latvian. They switch to Russian when we hear one other’s accents or learn names.

9. Estonia

Russian is the country’s most widely spoken minority language. In Estonia, there are places where Russian speakers are in the majority and towns where Estonian speakers are in the proportion. Currently, the number of Russians in Estonia is believed to be 320,000, with the majority living in the cities.

Estonia has a 300-year history of Russian Old Believer habitation. The majority of Estonia’s Russian community is descended from immigrants who arrived during the Soviet era. There are specialist Russian-language booksellers as well as normal bookstores that sell Russian literature. Russian theaters and radio stations can be found.

Moreover, there is some (but not much) local TV material in Russian, although there are several Russian TV stations on cable. Movies are generally screened with two sets of subtitles – Estonian and Russian – in their original language. Because children are unable to read subtitles, children’s films are generally dubbed and screened separately in Estonian and Russian.

10. Lithuania

Russian and Polish are the most common minority languages, with 8.2 percent and 5.8 percent of the population speaking them natively, respectively. The majority of Russian native speakers live in cities. They comprise not just ethnic Russians, but also numerous Belarusians, Ukrainians, Jews, and other ethnic groups from the former Soviet Union, together known as Russophones.

However, older generations are unlikely to speak Russian since, under Soviet rule, few schools took Russian seriously. Russian is increasingly frequently utilized in modern museums, hotels, tourist signage, and city/resort restaurant menus because it is the language Lithuanians expect tourists to know.

To conclude, Russian is ranked seventh among the world’s most commonly spoken languages. It is, believe it or not, Europe’s most commonly spoken language. Because of Russia’s power and influence, it’s also a popular second language throughout the world.

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