We in North America tend to forget that Russia is Europe's second biggest economy. It's also the world's biggest producer of oil and gas -- probably more than the rest of the world combined. What Russia has that we haven't to the same extent, is Islamic terrorism.
To those familiar with "Soviet" Russia, it's startling to see the billboards advertising Western cars, Samsung electronics, Subway fast food, Italian clothes, Paris fashions. Quite a change from the Moscow I remember where billboards advertised "Glory to Soviet cement."