The Russian Alphabet

The Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet consits of 33 letters:
10 vowels (а, е, ё, и, о, у, ы, э, ю, я) and 23 consonants.

Letter
Russian
name
Pronunciation (with English examples)
Transcribed
Audio samples  as text
A aaa - long as in 'father";
short as in 'mother"
along: янвàрь
short: в январé
Б бbeb - hard as in 'boss' or soft as in 'Bjorn'bhard: быть
soft: бить
В вvev - hard as in 'vase' or soft as in 'view'vhard: новый
soft: новейший
Г гgeg - hard as in 'God' or soft as in 'argue'ghard: много
soft: многие
Д дded - hard as in 'day' or soft as in 'dew'dhard: награда
soft: наградить
Е еye

ye - as in 'yet' - in the initial position, after vowels and after ь and ъ.
yi - as in 'yeast'. Also 'e', 'a', 'i' or 'ɨ'.

Softens  preceding consonants.
ye, yi, e, a, i, ɨwith y: ехать
without y: побег
Ё ёyo

Always stressed!
yo - as in 'your' - in the initial position, after vowels and after ь and ъ.
Also 'o'.
Softens  preceding consonants.

yo, owith y: ёж
without y: жёлтый
Ж жzhesh as in 'pleasure'ʒжить
З зzez - hard as in 'zero' or soft as in 'resume'zзавтра
И иii: - stressed as in 'deep';
i - unstressed as in 'pit';
after ж, ш, ц - wie ы (see below).
Softens  preceding consonants.
i:, i, ɨодин
like 'ы':  машина
Й йi
krátkoye
(short)
y - as in 'young'i, yмой
К кkak - hard as in 'can' or soft as in 'keep'khard: кот
soft: кит
Л лell - hard as in 'lord' or soft as in 'million'lhard: белый
soft: белить
М мemm - hard as in 'must' or soft as in 'Muse'mhard: масло
soft: мясо
Н нenn - hard as in 'null' or soft as in 'nude'nhard: ныть
soft: нить
О оoo - if stressed - long as in 'obey';
shorter then 'a' - if unstressed as in 'together'
o, ə or ɔlong: нóвый
short: новéйший
П пpep - hard as in 'pot' or soft as in 'peer'phard: пат
soft: пять
Р рerr trilled with the tip of the tongue; hard or softrhard: рукá
soft: рюмка
С сess - hard as in 'some' or soft as in 'sue'shard: суд
soft: сюда
Т тtet - hard, but unaspirated as in 'time' or soft as in 'tulip'thard: тонуть
soft: тянуть
У уushorter then 'oo' in 'goose'uдумать
Ф фeff - hard as in 'fall' or soft as in 'few'fhard: кафé
soft: кóфe
Х хkhach - hard similar to 'Lochness' or soft. No English equivalent.chhard: хохотать
soft: хихикать
Ц цtsets (always hard) as in 'tsar'tsцвет
Ч чtchetch (always soft) as in 'cheers'ʧучить
Ш шshash (always hard) as in 'sure'ʃшкола
Щ щtshatsch (always soft) as in 'schtschi' (Russian cabbage soup)ʃещё
Ъ ъtvyordyi znak (hard sign)The hard sign is not pronounced. It is placed between a hard consonant and the vowels -е, -ё, -ю, -я. These vowels are pronounced with the distinct initial 'j' (je, jo, ju, ja).подъезд
Ы ыɨA retracted variety of 'i' pronounced with the tongue blocking the throat. No English equivalent.yты
Ь ьmyachkiy znak (soft sign)The soft sign is not pronounced. It softens a preceeding consonant and indicates the distinct pronunciation of the initial 'j' of the following vowels -е, -ё, -ю, -я (je, jo, ju, ja).sometimes 'j'дверь
Э эε'ε' or 'e' similar to 'set'ε, eэто
Ю юyuju as in 'you'. In some cases the 'j' is hardly pronounced.
Softens preceeding consonant.
yu, uюмор
Я яyaja - if stressed as in 'young'
yi - if unstressed as in 'yeast', but shorter. Can sometimes be reduced to 'a' or 'i'.
Softens preceeding consonant.
ya, yi, yə, a, iяблоко