wasn't it.... me!?! ;) (http://www.couchsurfing.com/waluyo) :D
Actually, I used to live in Finland for 2 years, and came a couple of times in Russia with the university (Kostamushka, Petrozavodsk, St-Petersburg).
As I don't really like "organized" trips, I decided to return in Russia on my own during the spring 07 while I was living in Oulu (Finland).
I went there with a french friend who can't speak any russian neither. We have been visiting a few other places including Moscow and cities of the Volga region. We surfed a few couches in Moscow, St Peter, and Nizhny Novgorod...
But "backpacking and travelling" are in my opinion quite different than "hiking". While I'm sure I could find a few friends to go to travel in Russia, I don't really have anyone who would come with me for hiking trip "into the wild Russia"... :) :( I have a few hiking partners, but then, those guys are not really into travelling .... :(
And while I think I would be ok to travel in Russia by myself (understand "going from cities to cities"), I don't really know if I would have the guts to hike there for an extended period... especially in Siberia... (to much things I don't know, including bear safety rules, etc.)
So, that's why if you're proposing such a trip, that... might interest me!!! :)