Russian distinguishes soft (palatalized) and hard (unpalatalized or plain) consonants. Soft consonants, denoted by a superscript j, ⟨ʲ⟩, are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, like the articulation of the y sound in yes. /j, ɕː, tɕ/ are always soft, whereas /ʂ, ts, ʐ/ are always hard.
↑[dz] appears only in surnames (such as Дзю́ба), loanwords and as an allophone of /ts/ before voiced consonants.
↑[dʑ] appears only as an allophone of /tɕ/ before voiced consonants.
↑ 3.03.13.23.33.4Consonants in consonant clusters are assimilated in voicing if the final consonant in the sequence is an obstruent. All consonants become voiceless if the final consonant is voiceless or voiced if the final consonant is voiced (Halle 1959:31).
↑ 4.04.14.24.126.96.36.199.7The voiced obstruents /b, bʲ, d, dʲ, ɡ, v, vʲ, z, zʲ, ʐ, ʑː/ are devoiced word-finally unless the next word begins with a voiced obstruent (Halle 1959:22).
↑ 5.05.15.2⟨г⟩ is usually pronounced [ɣ] or [x] in some religious words and colloquial derivatives from them, such as Го́споди! and Бог, and in the interjections ага́, ого́. /ɡ/ devoices and lenites to [x] before voiceless obstruents (dissimilation) in the word roots -мягк- or -мягч-, -легк- or -легч-, -тягч- and also in the old-fashioned pronunciation of -ногт-, -когт-, кто.
↑The soft vowel letters ⟨е, ë, ю, я⟩ represent /je, jo, ju, ja/ when initial or after other vowels or a yer. When these vowels are unstressed (save for ⟨ë⟩, which is never unstressed), the /j/ may be deleted.
↑⟨щ⟩ is sometimes pronounced as [ɕː] or [ɕɕ] and sometimes as [ɕtɕ], but no speakers contrast the two pronunciations. It is generally includes the other spellings of the sound, but the word счи́тывать sometimes has [ɕtɕ] because of the morpheme boundary between the ⟨с-⟩ and the ⟨ч⟩.
↑Intervocalic ⟨г⟩ represents /v/ in certain words and affixes.
↑The long counterpart of [ʐ], [ʐʐ] is pronounced as soft [ʑʑ] in a few lexical items (such as дрожжи or заезжать) by conservative Moscow speakers; such realization is now somewhat obsolete (Yanushevskaya & Bunčić (2015:224)).
↑ 11.011.111.211.311.4Vowels are fronted and/or raised in the context of palatalized consonants: /a/ and /u/ become [æ] and [ʉ], respectively between palatalized consonants, /e/ is realized as [e] before and between palatalized consonants and /o/ becomes [ɵ] after and between palatalized consonants.
↑[ɑ] appears between a hard consonant (or a pause) and /l/.