According to Tom Kellermann (CISO for Trend Micro) Russian hackers are more intelligent than American hackers. The reason for this is because every action they make is part of an incredibly strategic process – operating 8 to 12 moves in advance much like chess. Similarly to chess, they are able to think strategically both offensively and defensively. Moreover, Russian hackers operate in a gray area within Russia, where as long as they are willing to conduct government sponsored attacks, operate outside of Russia and abide by the rules, they are left alone.
Source: CSO Online