So, when I say “low trust” I am speaking in terms of the institutional development of rule of law as a means of suppressing corruption, and therefore expanding truth telling.
The reason russia is rated (and I rate it) as a low trust country is corruption.
That said, I promise you, that you want russian friends more than friends from high trust countries. Just as much as you want government from high trust countries.
When I say ‘chinese are a low trust society’, this does not mean that they don’t trust each other. It means that (a) they lie, (b) they cheat, (c) the government is corrupt.
So high trust describes a RADIUS of trust, not how you trust the people you interact with.
In other words, trust is a question of economics.
Honestly, I prefer the company of conservative libertarian western europeans, and educated russians equally. I am a russophile just as much as I am a lover of ukraine.
Read Fukuyama’s “Trust”.