Custine is not at all kind in his opinion of the Russians. In fact he is the sort of man who holds the exact opinions Russians fear Europeans have of them.
Ironic the scene when the Czar explains his actions towards the Decemberists. Custine, a revolutionized Frenchman, should have been far less eager to agree with the Czar.
Even the Czar himself tells Custine “Petersburg is Russian, but it is not Russia”.