The Russian language has a vibrant cultural past.
Today, Russian has a significant global presence. It not only is spoken as a primary language by more than 170 million people around the world, but also serves as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
It is believed that the Russian language was born from the Eastern Slavic language of the 10th century, along with Ukranian (also referred to as Little Russian or Ruthenian) and Belorussian (also known as White Russian), making it an Eastern Slavic language belonging to the Indo-European language family.
In an attempt to standardize the written language, M.V. Lomonosov (for whom the Moscow State University is named) developed three distinct styles of the written Russian language in the middle 18th century: High, Middle, and Low.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Russian writer Aleksandr Pushkin contributed to efforts to move the Russian language further away from its Old Church Slavonic heritage, helping to develop a more uniquely Russian literary language.
The Cyrillic alphabet, upon which modern written Russian is based, was initially developed in the 9th century by the Byzantine missionaries Methodius and Constantine (who later changed his name to Cyril).
The Russian languages use of the Cyrillic alphabet underwent significant developments in the early 18th century under Peter the Great