↑Russian makes contrasts between palatalized ("soft") and unpalatalized ("hard") consonants. Palatalized consonants, denoted by a superscript j, ‹ ʲ› , are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, in a manner similar to the articulation of the y sound in yes. /j/, /ɕɕ/, /tɕ/, /ʑʑ/ are also considered "soft".
↑ 2.02.12.22.32.4In consonant clusters, the voicing or devoicing is determined by that of the final obstruent in the sequence (Halle 1959:31)
↑ 3.03.13.23.22.214.171.124.7Voiced obstruents (/b/, /bʲ/, /d/, /dʲ/ /ɡ/, /v/, /vʲ/, /z/, /zʲ/, /ʐ/, and /ʑʑ/) are devoiced word-finally unless the next word begins with a voiced obstruent (Halle 1959:22).
↑The "soft" vowel letters <е> <ю> and <я> represent a /j/ plus a vowel when initial or following other vowels or a yer. When such vowels are unstressed, the /j/ may be deleted.