I read it in English. The Burgin/O'Connor translation.
I don't recall not understanding anything, but I'm sure there are parts that I would have enjoyed more had I known about the history and culture, or had I read it in Russian.
To compensate a bit I read the notes at the end of the book and the Wikipedia article. E.g., apparently there are some abbreviations that are meant to be ironic: that was completely lost on me.