1) Find some genuine interest in the Russian language. Maybe that interest comes from the Russian literature, the Russian romances, or the Soviet films. For me it was the exceptional works of famous Russian mathematicians like Andrey Kolmogorov, the captivating music of Visotsky and a Russian
What are the best resources for learning Russian and how can I become a competent speaker, reader and writer of the Russian language?
It depends greatly on your level. I was taught Russian in a Russian university and only turned to podcasts after I had basic conversation skills so my answer is best suited for those at the intermediate and above stage.My top pick
that it's tremendously hard to learn/speak. Actually, Russian is well-standardized, most of the verbs are regular (compare to English), most of the nouns follow the same set of simple rules (compare to German, especially their plurals), etc. So if you know this set of rather simple rules, you can learn it decently