I love studying foreign languages.
This excellent course (two CDs and book) takes the total beginner through various scenarios using dialogues, role plays and short grammatical explanations. The units introduce the Russian alphabet, step by step.
The atmosphere is lively and the course covers close to a thousand words. I have gone through it, as well as the equivalent courses in French and German, and have found all three useful introductions.
Obviously, the BBC Talk series only covers basics, but it does enable the average person to gain some knowledge of a foreign language.
I believe the course takes the student about half the way through the A1 speaking standard set out by the Common European Framework for Languages.
Learning never stops.
Just a few of my thoughts.