Is Russian a phonetic language?
To a certain degree yes. Or, may be, it’s better to say that Russian is almost phonetic, because you pronounce all of the letters in the word.
The word ‘молоко’ – 6 letters, 6 sounds.
Therefore, if you know pronunciation rules, you can read any Russian word.
It’s not like in English.
For example in the word ‘thought’ there are 7 letters and only 3 sounds.
When Russians learn English, they learn words together with transcription (pronunciation)
There are some exceptions though: in the word ‘здравствуйте’ the middle ‘в’ is not pronounced.