This was my best professor at UCLA so far. Friendly,yet challenging. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting. Great lecturer and flexible and responsive to the students' needs and problems. He fires interest to his subject and that interest stays with you. Take him and you will never regret it!
I took a class from his 140 series a while ago and am taking one now. I have one thing to say about this guy: sucks to be anyone at UCLA who can't read and write Russian fluently. He's an amazing professor and his enjoyment of his subject matter is contagious and fascinating to observe. In all honesty, 140C was better than 140A, if only because 140A divides the quarter into four short stories. It took us half of the quarter to go through two seven-MS Word-page stories by Pushkin, because Ospovat kept stopping at every sentence and explaining it. On the other hand, expectations about reading Dr. Zhivago over the weekend, as in 140A (if you haven't read it yet) are relaxed and if you never talk in class, he's unlikely to call on you. There is a "final," which involves writing an essay on one of the pieces of literature he presents in class. He gives you all the necessary points; you just have to listen for them. And the final is during the last class, tenth week, which I'm ambivalent about, since you've got an hour and fifteen minutes to squeeze out an essay. If you have any sort of problems with the class - really unlikely, but whatever - go to his office hours. He's really pleasant to talk to and he's very approachable.