Living in Siberia is not as difficult as people might think. However, when I was considering the idea of coming again, I reflected upon some problems I had three years ago. Not knowing Russian enough was and is the most serious one because it affects all the rest.
Going to a place where most people do not speak English scared me at first, mainly because simple activities like going to a supermarket or ordering some food could turn into a real nightmare. Yet, I knew I wouldn't be able to count on anyone as soon as I arrived. When I'm out there and need some help, I frequently ask: «Viy govorite po-angliyskiiy?», and immediately have: «nyet» as answer, which can be a bit frustrating.
But you know what? After living 6 months in Novosibirsk, I realized that people are actually willingly to help, the thing is they are not confident enough with the level of language they have. I've got to this conclusion by observing some of my Russian friends who used to say that they couldn't speak English, but now are able to communicate freely. What to do in that case? Practice, practice and practice.