Was there a couple of years ago.. to evaluate a few company for their technology and capabilities.
At Novosibirks we stayed in an academic city "Academia Gorodoc" or something that sounds like that. I can bet that at least 60% of the population are academician. I remembered one night we were stopped by a stranger, asking about us. We talked and later found that he was a physics student and he talked to us because he wanted to practise his English.
Food is always a problem in Russia... mainly because we don't understand a word of Russian! Lucky that we brought a Polish Consultant who also became our interpretor. The worst food that was served to us... rice soup... eeeeuuuuggghhhhh!!! Milk and rice, and some stuff.. just can't take it!
St. Petersburg is a really nice city. Traditional buildings are everywhere. We saw a mosque amongst the churches but they all looked alike.