History of Culture
In order to understand Russian culture one must realize that it is a unique symbiosis of European and Asian traditions. Russia has part of its roots in European culture where the ideas of goodness, honor, and freedom have similar meaning as in the West. The Mongols, [Tartars, Tatars] conquered Moscow in 1234 and Kiev in 1240, and controlled Russian lands for over 200 years. That brought Tatar blood into Slavic mix, creating modern Russian nation.
Modern Culture Living for centuries in a very harsh climate explains the Russians' strength, their ability to endure extreme hardship, and their occasional bleak outlook on life - but only to the non-russian observer. Russians themselves never consider their life miserable. Hardships also helps develop such abilities as simplifying things (complex mechanisms break in tough climates, think Kalashnikov and other russian military armament). Russians tend to find way around obstacles.
Russian culture produced a number of world famous artists and writers. Literature would not be the same without Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky or Joseph (Iosif) Brodsky. Here you can read more about russian art.
Russians consider themselves a well-educated nation. They read a lot of books. They attend theater, russian ballet is very popular around the world. Russia produces world's top mathematicians and physicists.
* List of current russian cultural events can be found on the site Russian USA: here.
Orthodoxy Russian Orthodoxy, a branch of Christianity, is deeply rooted in russian culture. The majority of russians consider themselves Christians, but in fact most of them are not true believers. People often attend church just to "light a candle" and have a quick praying. People do not have to be members of the church or pay monthly contributions to attend. Church marriage is not official in Russia, a couple has to register with the government authorities first to be allowed to have a church ceremony.
Russian Folklore Folklore is still very popular in Russian cities and towns. You may have heard about Palekh Art, russian "basnya" poems and folk songs. Traditions is what keeps Russian Culture unique and alive to this day.
Russian Diaspora The term Russian Diaspora refers to the global community of ethnic russians. The largest number of russians living outside Russia can be found in republics of former Soviet Union. Sizable russian diaspora also exists in USA, see for instance Russian Diaspora in USA, in the European Union and in Israel. Also, according to statistics, there's more than 1 million russians in Central Asia. Russians are spread around the world, in acient times they traveled as far as California, USA (see Russian River Valley, CA).
A first sizable emigration occured in 17th century because of the religious beliefs. Another large wave came during The Russian Revolution. Next wave came during World War II. Another wave was in 1970th during Nikita Khruschev's "spring" ( ottepel ). The latest large wave of immigration occured before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many large communities were created at the time, see for instance Russian USA.