Steven Universe Season 3 got off to a flying start (pun.... intended), neatly solving the problem of the Cluster, and bringing the plot back down to Earth as Lapis Lazuli learned to accept her banishment from Homeworld. The first few episodes of the season were a perfect blend of fast paced plot developments and character based fun, leaving us with plenty to talk about before Steven Floats airs in the US (of course, thanks to the episode airing in France, it's all over the internet already).
But let's set aside all this stuff for a moment and take a step back. One of the awesome things about Steven Universe is the creators' penchant for subtle plot hints, and there's one which fans have been desperate to solve for some time now: Whatever happened to Russia?
In the episode "It Could Have Been Great", we got to see exactly what the Earth looks like in this reality, and it's vastly different from the planet we live on. A lot of the landmasses are warped out of shape — Australia has shrunk, some landbridges exist which we don't know about, South America is much larger, but Europe seems to be the same. Oh, and there's a giant hole where Russia should be.
Considering that Homeworld started using the Earth as a breeding ground for new gems, it's possible that the damage to the landmasses could have been caused by the installing of Kindergartens, and other gem facilities. But there seems to be more to the story when it comes to Russia, as this fan spotted something strange in the episode "The Return".
Honestly, I quite like the theory from steven-universe-official — that Homeworld just straight up stole the country of Russia. Which is entirely possible, considering that Homeworld's technology is far more advanced than our own (you could even say it's... out of this world! Ok, I'll stop now). But what would they want with Russia?
It seems most likely that Russia was simply in the way, and Homeworld removed it in order to erect whatever old facility they had there, possibly the Lunar Sea Spire which we saw in the Season 1 episode "Cheeseburger Backpack". We still don't know what the Sea Spire is for, and maybe it has a greater purpose than we suspected. Great enough to get that pesky Russia out of the way.
As for the text in the hand spaceship, well, that really is odd. Why would the gems use an alphabet from Earth on one of their ships, let alone one from a country they removed? This seems to be too much of a coincidence to be a simple red herring, so I'm holding out hope that the reason for this apparent connection will be revealed in a later episode. And who knows, maybe Homeworld did just steal Russia!