I think in Russia we had little knowledge about Libya and Gaddafi before this war.
Some people remember that he was a Soviet ally in 1970s and also that he was accused in supporting terrorism.
Our impression of him as a dictator stems mostly from his pompous uniform which is stereotypical for dictators (i.e. some guy in a gold-knitted uniform->he is, probably, dictator).
During the war Gaddafi was very much supported by the leftists, anti-Americanists and patriotic nationalists, all of them constituting the majority. He was vilified by pro-American forces (liberals). This is similar to what happened during the bombing of Yugoslavia and invasion in Iraq.
The government did not support Gaddafi especially due to pro-Wertern then-president Medvedev. In justification of their position the government cited the following reasons:
Gaddafi in recent years had better relations with the West than with Russia, he is not an ally of ours.
Gaddafi was not accurate in paying the debt.
Gaddafi financed the pro-US Orange revolution in Ukraine to secure better relations with the West.
Attack on Libya is mainly attack on Chinese rather than Russian interests.
The US anyway will bomb Libya to ruins and overthrow him, because they decided so, so the more important task of ours is to secure better relations with the new government.
The government position was extremely unpopular among the people because many saw it as a blatant violation of international law and as a next step towards planned attack on Russia which is already in queue after Syria, Iran and Belarus. Some people compared the war with the 1936 civil war in Spain where the USSR failed to protect the anti-fascist government.
Many saw the aim of the Wastern invasion was to support Al Quaeda which allegedly now fell under American control after Bin Laden dead, similarly to how the US supported Jihadists in Afghanistan. They think that the US wants to build a powerful Sunny Wahhabi chaliphate so to increase Islamist terrorist pressure on Russia and China (this is supported by the facts of quite open Western help to the terrorist Islamist rebels in Chechnya).
Another cited reason was that the West wanted to take Lybla's oil resources, similarly to how the West attempted in Russia in the 1990s (i.e. Yukos affair and the like).
During the war many people learned more about Libya, especially that it was the most developed country in Africa, that its standards of living were higher than in all other Arab countries (including Saudi Arabia) and in Russia.
In the Internet there were many pro-Gaddafi Russian-language resources, including for example, forums of Ukrainian medics who worked in Libya (actually a very large number because Libya paid much greater money to Ukrainian and Russian doctors than the Ukraine or Russia themselves so working in Libya became a mass practice for Ukraine's and Russia's medics). It is known that Libya had a high-quality and free for all medical care system so that doctors from many countries worked there (not only from Russia and Ukraine but also from Bulgaria, India and others)
The public opinion in Russia currently strongly pro-Gaddafi, which is one of the reasons Russia took different position in Syria.