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I've read [i] doesn't really occur in the context I've described but I still want to know whether the meaning is changed.

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The IPA for Russian Ы is [ɨ], not [ɯ].

This sound does not occur after velarized (soft) consonants in Russian.

Similarly, [i] occurs only after velarized consonants (or at the beginning of a word).

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    I... think "velarized" is the opposite of soft, which is "palatalized". Mar 9 '19 at 23:30
  • That is correct. Hard corresponds to velarized whilst soft to palatalized. Also, in Russian, [i] suposedly occurs after a "palatalized" consonant. Mar 10 '19 at 17:20

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