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The Russian-Speaking World

Russian was essentially the lingua franca of Eastern Europe and it has spread as "second language" to many of the Soviet Union's former territories and politically allied countries. More rarely spoken in territories where Russia had no influence, the Russian language still survives in some communities of Russian immigrants around the world. This complete list demonstrates the influences of Russian and the countries where it is used as official language or second-official language:


Country Languages (%)
Armenia Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)
Azerbaijan Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)
Belarus Belarusian, Russian, other
Estonia Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7% (2000 census)
Finland Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2007)
Georgia Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%

note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Kazakhstan Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2% (1999 census)
Latvia Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3% (2000 census)
Lithuania Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)
Moldova Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
Mongolia Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
Russia Russian, many minority languages
Svalbard Norwegian, Russian
Tajikistan Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
Turkmenistan Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Ukraine Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)
Uzbekistan Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
World Mandarin Chinese 13.22%, Spanish 4.88%, English 4.68%, Arabic 3.12%, Hindi 2.74%, Portuguese 2.69%, Bengali 2.59%, Russian 2.2%, Japanese 1.85%, Standard German 1.44%, French 1.2% (2005 est.)

note: percents are for "first language" speakers only

Source: CIA – The World Factbook