I'd only be able to type in phonetically aka Latin, which for a native Russian speaker such as yourself is a royal pain
Nah it's not a pain, we all learned to type this way in the 90s - not least because you cannot type a website url in Cyrillic, or some other specific applications. Irritating, but not a big issue.
Most Russians whom I've taught also struggle for years with the definite vs. indefinite article
It is absolutely maddening. "I live in a house" vs "I live in the house" vs "I live in-house" - very difficult to wrap your mind around as a new student.