If like me you're uncomfortable with the watered-down phonetic route, at least learn the alphabet first. Best source I've found: http://masterrussian.com/blalphabet.shtml
Thought I could tough it out (without studying the alphabet) - nope. Crumbled after the first two or three modules.
Letter 25, "che", made me think of the Diva, not least because it looks like an upside down piece of furniture (embedded figures test):
Pronunciation can be tough so here's a short cut:
1. find a New Yorker
2. ask him to say "chair"
It's that easy. ;)
NB am aware of the whole Russia thing (of course). I promise I did not ask "bros" to mention Duolingo at the beginning of December. And:
Okay, we're done. :)