The Russian language is an East Slavic, Indo-European language spoken by over 280 million people, primarily in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Over 180 million people speak it as their native language. Russian has official status in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and is a recognized regional language in all other former Soviet republics except the Baltic states. The nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all have substantial numbers of Russian speakers, representing about 30% of their populations.
The Russian language is a fusion language, using a combination of agglutination and synthesis. It has 6 formal grammatical cases and 2 partial cases. Nouns also belong to one of three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.