since i got asked for sharing my opinion here is it - mhhhh im a Russian Main on 1700 around and i think you exaggerate a lot. The Civ is at least in SUP more then solid overall. Your Unit are also okay, Ruskets does the Job in Age2 and Cossack Strelet is always a solid Combination especially if you have Ruskets in it you have age2 a 3 unit type comb which is totally okay. Also the scaling of the economy is more then okay, especially if you macro early on for steal traps, which is a easy thing actually even if you rush and after spice trade arrives you are food wise more then fine. So the Eco really does not need a Nerf or a Buff, they are just fine. Also the villager train time is already pretty good. Your Vills are 30 Food cheaper and comes faster. So there is really no point to argue about.
The problem is which Russia makes so “slow” early on is the fact that you need a proper macro for getting the Units out. To be fair, it is just harder to make it possible to keep producing early on in comparison to other civs during the batch training so there you have a point. This is also a reason why the Semi FF or FF is just not working as Russia because you have to gather a lot of Wood during Transition because of needed infrastructure, you need to gather wood in age1 as well then for a TP etc etc. So all this are reasons why the most Russian Players stays longer age2. Because you need this time to create a solid Eco and you need the time to get your shipments in.
A solving for all those problems could be to allow it that Russia can train villagers and units in single batches because then it would be way easier to get the batches out or to change the starting creates. The thing is in both cases you have to change other things like if you allow single trainings then you have to increase the cost for the vills otherwise Russia would be OP and if you change the starting crates you have also to change something on Russia’s Age2 Gameplay because if you would change starting creates it mean they have a better follow up because of the scaling Economy. So this is valid for all possible changes overall. I think Russia is not that easy to balance because of their Output potencial.
About the Units idk there is not much to say. Russia got some buffs like Strelet Horde was reworked, Pjotrs Toy Soldiers are added, okay Boyars got nerfed and you feel the change (im not a fan of this i feel its undeserved among the current circumstances and balance), so especially mid game and late game wise this is for now more then fine. Not to forget Sovnja, even if i feel it was a bit over nerfed and did not effect the right units, but that’s only my taste.
So yeah for me Russia is solid civ and for sure not bad, but you can say they are not a good Quick Search civ and i would fully agree on because you have like 10 Bad Matchups while other civs just don’t have this amount of bad match ups.
In a short version you can say its needed to find a genius who let Russia the possibilities for Age2 (while not creating a OP civ) and to make it possible to play classical Semi FF, FF Strats where they not lack because of weak Units or average Shipments if it comes about age 3 strategy’s.
About the meta shipments in Age 3 - 19 Strelets is already a good one (Ress wise 21 Strelets would be the exactly amount of Units if we mention a Shipment is 1000 Ress worth), 5 cav archer is nothing since the animation is just trash. Not even comparable to 5 Goons and the shooting delay compared to a goon is just unfair. 6 Cossacks could be actually 7 Cossacks to make it a more useful shipment. 13 Muskets are okay but could be also 14 because of the weak stats and 11 Halbs are actually useless because you will never use them as Russia. Which i would really like is the 7 Boyars for 500 coin may be they could be increased in the future to an amount of 8 Boyars. Last but not least it would be also cool if Russia could get a anti Cav Shipment for 500 Coin in Age3 as well.
I hope my answer is welcomed.