Russian doesn't use the Latin alphabet but instead an alphabet attributed to its creator Saint Cyril who introduced the written language to Russia from Greece in the Tenth Century, this is why if you are familiar with the Greek alphabet you will find some common letters. The Cyrillic Alphabet has 33 characters in Russian and is used for the written form of not just Russian but also Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian and Ukrainian.
Russian text is actually much simpler to read than English. It doesn't take long to get used to the new alphabet (including the written one — Russian has a different printed and a handwritten alphabet). In general a word is pronounced as it is written, unlike English, take for example the sound made by 'ou' in the following words - through — though — tough!
Below is a table detailing how each letter is written and the related sound it makes when read: N.B. 'ё' is often written just as 'е', which may be somewhat confusing at first when reading Russian texts not written specifically for foreigners.
Now see if you can decipher the following words:
In Russian, as in all languages, there is a syllable within the word that is stressed more than other, for example photograph where the stress is on the first syllable and photography where the stress is on the second. It should be noted that which syllable to stress follows no observable pattern and just has to be learnt, just like in English!
An important point to note is that unstressed 'o's tend to be pronounced more as 'a's rather than 'o's so a word like молоко (milk) is actually pronounced малако because the stress is at the end and пиво (beer) is actually pronounced пива because the stress is on the first part of the word.