The single most important element that someone needs to learn good Russian, or any language, is love. Do you get filled with joy when you listen to Russian? Do you want to listen to more Russian even if you don’t understand a single word? Do you admire someone that speaks Russian? Do you listen to a Russian song and start dreaming? If your answer is yes to the previous questions, you will certainly learn good Russian very quickly.
There are different reasons one can fall in love with the Russian language. For example, there are people who wish to read Dostoyevsky in the original. Others are attracted to Russia’s history and influence in world politics. In my case, I was fascinated when I first saw the Cyrillic alphabet and its unusual typewritten letters. Then, a Red Army Choir CD fell on my hands and introduced me to beautiful classics like ‘Moscow nights’ and ‘Katyusha’. As a mathematician, I came across the works and life of Andrey Kolmogorov and other renowned Russian mathematicians.
For each one of us the starting point and way of immersion are different. Different starting points can help people achieve the same end, i.e. to speak good Russian. It is very important that you find your own love for the language. That will increase your motivation and help you overcome any obstacles of the learning process.