I think it's neither - I think people in Russia may wait longer to get new tires due to the cost of replacement. Just a theory, though.
I wanted to see what the motor vehicle accident statistics were for Russia, so I checked Wikipedia. It seems that - statistically speaking - it's safer to drive in Russia than it is in the US: 26,567 deaths due to MVAs in Russia compared to 33,808 in the US last year.
India holds the title of deadliest country to drive in, however - 133,938 fatalities in 2010.
But there are still probably a lot more non-fatal accidents in Russia than in the US. Also don't forget that the USA's population (314.7 million) is over twice the amount of Russia's (143.2 million), so per head, Russia (185.5 deaths/million people) still has more MVA fatalities than the US (107.4 deaths/million people); Russia has even more deaths/person than India (116.5 deaths/million people).
All this probably doesn't factor in the actual danger of the roads in these countries (India is probably the most dangerous place to drive), but it's still an interesting statistic.