This article is a good summary of common stereotypes and myths I heard when I said I will live in Russia from friends in the US or Western Europe. After few weeks living in Moscow I already seen a huge difference with the reality. For example I don't think that Moscow is more dangerous than New York or Paris. People buy American brands such as Starbucks that have openned several coffee shops, many French and German brands too. And they have as many "made in China" stuff than the "west"