For me, the GTA franchise will always be about the ITALIAN
Mafia, not Russians, or gang bangers, or Triads. Those are the guys you should be trying to kill. I guess in GTA5 you'll play a Triad. And in GTA6 you'll be a Mexican drug runner. And then, maybe after GTA27 where you play as an Al'Queda dude, they'll go back to the Italian Mafia...
Well, the GTA Franchise has pretty much been more or less a tribute to films. Vice City was a tribute to Scarface and such. San Andreas was a tribute to the 90's gang wars films, and so on.
Being apart of the Italian Mob is all well and good, but if you spend too many games on it, it gets boring.
It's nice to see Rockstar going with something relatively unexplored video-game wise with the Russian Mafia for this game.