The Russian language is one of the three remaining members of the East Slavic languages. It is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which has more characters than the Latin alphabet set. Since the 10th century the current form of the Cyrillic alphabet has been used to write in Russian, though the alphabet used to be more widespread.
Russian writing was revised in the 1700's and became more closely representative of the spoken language so that formerly illiterate people would have an easier time integrating writing into their lives. During the 19th century, Russian poetry and literature became more popular, and many of the writers we cherish today such as Dostoevsky were being published.