Regarding language though, yeah it's supposed to take about double the number of hours to get to the same level in languages like Japanese or Mandarin Chinese as compared with Russian - but Russian is still no joke. I would expect around double or triple the number of hours to get to the same level in Russian versus French, Spanish, or most other Romance languages.
About English, I'm surprised you think it's easy. I think the pervasiveness of English makes it easier to learn in some ways, but unless you're a native speaker or learned it when you're very young, my impression is that it's difficult. You have the 12 tenses which drive some learners crazy, articles which are almost impossible to master if you come from a language that doesn't have articles like Russian - pronunciation which isn't phonetic, so you need to either hear a word or look up its pronunciation in a dictionary to be sure you're pronouncing it correctly. From what I've seen, the average language learner, they really need to bust their ass and put in tons of hours to get even to the intermediate level in English.
You bring up great points about emigration which anyone considering moving should seriously reflect on.