Despite being nearly 1000 miles, our journey through Russia (from Ukraine to Kazakhstan) was more or less a straight easterly line on more or less the same road. For most of the journey all we could see in any direction was a panoramic of fields stretching out to the horizon. Each day Chris would say "that's the biggest field I've seen in my life", only to find a bigger one a few miles down the road.
Instantly Ukraine was like no country either of us had been to before. In Romania, the majority of people we met spoke at least some English, we could make sense of some of the Latin based language, and there was some European familiarity to it all. Just by crossing the border, suddenly nobody knew a single word of English, the writing was all funny, and the cars surrounding us made it look like we had stepped back in time by at least 40 years.