Russia always seems to have a bad rep. It is where I was born, not in St. Petersburg, but Siberia; a slightly different animal.
Russia is filled with history unlike any other country. The history is cruel; the present is a political and economic battleground. But nevertheless, even after many years of living in the US, my loyalty and love for Russia will never fade.
St. Petersburg is especially beautiful and a good representation of Russian character: strong and tough.