Russia is kinda cool. bit of a rip off if you depend on hotels/hostels for accomodation. Couchsurfing and Hospitality club seem to be the way to do it. We met a young guy on the train from Novosibirsk to Omsk who offered us his couch for free. We cooked him and his flatmates a big meal last night to say thanks.
Super stress with tickets out of Omsk. doesn't help when Russian railways have varying ticketing policies in different cities. It's sorted now, but after a whole bunch of head aches.