Russian is not very well known for its modern development as a country, in both structural and cultural. The country itself is rife with corruption and poor standard of living. It was after all, a formerly communist country with a bloody history. In addition, it is the largest country in the world where most of its population is concentrated towards the west in the major cities.
Due to its sheer size, the back roads and rural areas are bound to have some sort of shady business going on. People love money, and history has shown that many people aren’t against taking advantage of others. It’s all about what they can get away with.
The story is that highway bandits set up “tolls” where they basically extort anyone that passes through. A trucker one day decided to radio in to other truckers, and it was likely these other truckers have also fallen victim to this extortion in the past.