ASCII Character ьCyrillic small letter soft sign
The soft sign (Ь, ь, italics Ь, ь) also known as the front yer, front jer, or er malak (lit. "small er") is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Old Church Slavonic, it represented a short (or "reduced") front vowel. As with its companion, the back yer ⟨ъ⟩, the vowel phoneme that it designated was later partly dropped and partly merged with other vowels. In the modern Slavic Cyrillic writing systems in which it appears (all East Slavic languages and Bulgarian and Church Slavic), it does not represent an individual sound but indicates palatalization of the preceding consonant.