I gave this comment further down in this post. You may want to check it out as you begin to long for Russia.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - A Competitive Viewpoint
Additionally Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote 3 volumes of roughly 1800 pages discussing the Gulag system in the Soviet Union in which he was confined.
From a more modern perspective, You might like to ask those Russians who do not receive paychecks (because they have all been handed out and there is nothing left to pay them for their labor) how much freedom they enjoy. I am by no means an expert, but have a personal acquaintance who spent time teaching English in Russia, who relayed this first hand information to me.