I just recently started a new role at a company where I am responsible for Customer service and supporting customers behind the "Iron Curtain"! Always a bug bear in the media and news, Russia is the largest country in the world and one of the most populous also, Russia has now taken a different place on the world stage. Instead of a Military Superpower, it is forging ahead in a different vein as an Economic and Energy Superpower. With a country that spans 11 time zones containing the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources as well as approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water the Russian Federation stands a good chance of re-imaging themselves.
Fortunately the staff I am responsible for are no where near as ferocious and although I am not a native Russian speaker they have been quite welcoming! To some extent, due to this welcome and also due to the experience in some of my previous permanent and contract roles where Programmers, Developers and/or Support staff always seemed to be Russian (or from the Eastern Bloc) I have decided to try and learn Russian! Feel free to follow my trials and tribulations about this here!
Some good sites I have found that have been are extremely useful already are as follows -