I have really never delved into this nationality's cuisine but I found myself reading the great old Time Life Series on the Cuisines of the world.
The only time I have tried the food of Russia (or Poland for the matter) were while I was living in Berlin as an exchange student. I noticed that quite a few recipes in my host family's repretoire were vestiges of the Russian influence during the the days of the DDR / GDR.
I addition to this I ate at a small Russian restaurant in Potsdam in one of the Russian cabins the Prussian king had built for a group of Russian military choir members that were captured during the Napoleonic wars.
So I was hoping a chowhound out there may be able to get my feet wet with some good starting off recipes. A few areas of intrigue for me is the various styles of Borscht, salads, bilinis, Caucaus cuisine, and minority cuisines. As well as Palov, which seems to be an adaptation of the Indian Pilaf.
get yourself Please to the Table by Anya Von Bremzen -everything you've mentioned is there in the book - excellent and authentic.
Another perfect book but that covers only georgian cuisine is by Dara Goldstein "The Georgian Feast".
I cannot recommend the following cookbook highly enough: Anya Von Bremzen's "Please, To the Table" It's a James Beard Best Cookbook of the year winner, a big thick book, featuring Russian and Eastern European classic cuisines. It's all there. A "must have" cookbook if you love those foods. Recipes are explained beautifully understandibly, and accessibly.