This is actually -- seriously -- the core problem of Russia, that begets most of their other serious secondary problems. One of the reasons they prefer strongmen for leaders, apart from false memory of being scorned by weaklings instead, who supposedly sell the country for scraps "to the West" or outright hand it on a platter to whomever happened to want a chunk of it at the time (e.g. Mongols, but they wanted everything, admittedly), is because Russia has trained itself to not trust democratic processes because there is much discord on most issues between any two Russians in Russia, and that's because they don't trust each other.
I am talking from experience having lived there. Sure you can have greatest and closest of friends, and Russian heart is known to be bigger than life more often than not. But the symptom of little trust permeates entire society and you can observe it everywhere from previous generation service personnel, innately distrustful of you just because you are, to office functionaries, to business partners, to randoms on the street -- the pendulum swings both ways here. They love you after an evening of frank conversation, but that's only because you find their little door. This is especially true for men, which unfortunately rule Russia for the most part. This distrust is the glass wall between Russia and its long-term prosperity where there's a truly functioning society that doesn't need a faraoh/tsar/emperor to keep a lid on it all and make sure there's order and everyone's fed. It shouldn't be like that -- that without some symbol like Putin everyone pulls their own horse in their own direction and to hell with everything else. But it is.
The distrust comes in part from dark Soviet times when people were rewarded for reporting on their neighbour whom were, I don't know, selling Levi's jeans from U.S.A., or U.S. dollars, or were simply engaging in "anti-social activities" or whatever else the jealous neighbour wanted to pin on them (in rare cases just to have them gone). Just about anyone was one report away from having their life severely set back or ruined with a gulag sentence, potentially. That's not conductive of trust between neighbours, and it was going on for decades. That's a LONG time.
I could go on, but back to my point: lack of trust in one another between citizens (who ironically liked to call one another "comrade" back in the heyday of the Soviet Union), is the handicap Russia has been struggling with, often without seeing it themselves (you can't see your nose), on their way to a "flatter" society that I think will end up saving them from themselves. They're also being co-opted into falling into the same hole by new "leaders" exploiting this trait they've developed.
United Russia, it turns out, is a but of an oxymoron. They're like a hey stack tied up by a strong elite, as soon as the latter relaxes the grip, it's hey all over the place. That's not indicative of a successful nation state, but they don't look there for answers, it seems.