Russia is the most under-valued country in the world. So great it is that it still exerts fascinations to most, despite being disregarded as if it was a remote island or little country, when it is a major centre of culture, science, history and civilisation as a whole let alone of course army and political experiments... Russian people are endearing, they are tough in the street to strangers but so affectionate to friends and relative. They seem to be perpendicular and complementary to German in a way that French are to British.
The Russian language is one of the jewels of this culture. It is the language naturally fit for poetry, whereas other languages have to delve into intellectual prowess, technicalities, contortions, sophistication, ..., poetry is inherent to Russian, with ordinary things such as a chair (chaise, silla, стул) and a table (table, mesa, стол) become two beautifully complementary and look-alike words. Or compare the dangerous if not sulfurous Девочка and Девушка and how оч matures into уш.
It is a fairly difficult language, but with beautiful features, e.g., the concept of perfective and imperfective verbs (when the action is performed by its completion or by its ignition) and how this models the future: я буду делать vs я сделаю.
Russian gastronomy isn't that great, actually best food in Russia seems to be Georgian (that also includes wine). There seems to be little cultural links between Russia and even the most basic food, e.g., the word potato comes from Germany (картофель; even the Russianized word картошка cannot hide this), the word tomato comes from Italy (помидор), etc. This is very strange, it seems that in the dawn of time, there was only cabbage (капуца) on this land.
This being said...
they still have caviar, they are the only ones to know how to make tea (not the British), they honour more than they value simple but nutritious things like soups (Borscht is excellent, with this beautiful Russian color)...