One thing I am actually 100% sure of, is any experts who do reviews, are not to be 100% trusted. I used to run my own hardware review site years ago called CanadianTechNews and I ended up closing the site. Anyway, I was paid pretty much by manufacturers to give a certain review of the product (not gonna name names of which company did so). But it is well known that various companies will pay sites like Tomshardware or the like a certain amount of $ plus able to keep the hardware they reviewed, if they give it a good review. Same goes for video game makers.
That aside, after looking at the only review of the Elbrus 4C through CNews.ru, I can safely say that the processor shows a lot of potential. The fact that it came close to competing against a Core i3 and i5, with having little to no real CISC processor development experience before, besides working on the Elbrus E2K core, has shown Russia is more than capable of producing a chip that can easily compete with the big players.
Real issue is not the processors itself that will be able to compete, it is the availability, price, location of development and ultimately, the number of third party companies who are willing to produce components for the processor (Northbridge/Southbridge chipsets, Motherboards, integrated networking, coding to take advantage of the architecture, etc). So in order to compete, MCST will have to ultimately open their production so that companies like in China and the like, would be able to create third party components. Same goes for software development. There needs to be a big push, and if there isn't, then the processors, no matter how good they are, will end up staying in the back seat. Add to the fact that Microsoft OS, which is the most used OS, takes advantage of both AMD's and Intel's architectures, while the MCST is not. Thus that is about 90% of the market missing for MCST. So they either have to work on getting MS involved, or have to find alternatives.
MCST isn't even private either. The one that was private, former boss Babayan, sold it off to Intel (go figure). MCST is still state run I believe.
Baikal processors through Baikal electronics, subsidiary of T-Platforms may have a higher chance of being a direct competitor (and it will be good for MCST as they will have internal competition), due to the fact that T-Platforms (a major HPC making company) will be using these processors in the development of their cluster systems, which they seem to have a bigger access to the market than MCST as they have super computers built even in the USA. So in this case, T-Platforms Baikal processors (whenever they will end up showing up for sale), could very well be the basic market consumer processor, especially since ARM processors are making a huge push into the consumer market (good for a RISC processor).
Major drawbacks in all of this? The software. Lack of software developers. Hell, Russia is one of the leading countries in IT development, yet name me big IT companies besides Kaspersky? What about video game companies? There needs to be the demand. Only other way a demand can be created besides government looking and the open market, is if the country is isolated and the average consumer needs the products.