I don't follow the concept of always using the current place name, although frequently I will do that. But there are cases where I want to keep the place as it is given in the record that this entry is originating from.
There are some places in some states that during the 18th and 19th century may have existed in 2, 3, 4, 5 or more different counties as the state broke down large counties and shifted boundaries around. If I am getting the location for tax lists, census records, etc I generally want to leave the place of record to be the place in my database. I then will often add a custom fact (I call "Geo-Note") to note "xx county was formed from yy county in 1857" or "xx township was moved from yy county to zz county in 1834" or whatever. But, if I find a headstone that may have been in xx county when the person was buried, but is now in yy county, I will use the current place.
Similarly going back to eastern Europe or Russia - I will leave the place in the record alone. Maybe I'll add another record to give the current place country, if I know it - although often I won't know what country an 18th century name is in today.
There are some cases where I will shift to the current location. The most common is changing Virginia to be West Virginia pre-1860. It is very confusing to leave all of these records to say Virginia when they are in current day West Virginia.
I usually try to have consistent rules to follow; but I find it hard to follow consistent conventions when it comes to places.
As for places to use for reference, I use Wikipedia. It gives the history of place names and often a (small) map.