We just drove Austria - Nordkapp via the Baltics, Karelia and Murmansk with a 4x4 car in January: Roadtrip Russia (1) Murmansk - Machackala - Magadan - Gentleman Adventurer
Roads in Russia were mostly very good and ice-free (they use an excellent aggressive chemical). The exceptions being the stretch between Narva and St. Petersburg (potholes, some ice) and between Murmansk and Kirkenes (pressed snow, no problems).
It was MUCH harder to drive in the Baltics and Scandinavia where no salt is used (I assume for environmental aka budgetary reasons). In Lithuania on a particularly bad day we saw 8 heavy accidents (mostly trucks). Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Northern Sweden they were also just ploughing snow, leaving very icy asphalt. For whatever reason, in Finland they leave a cover of pressed snow on the roads that gives good grip.
It is funny that EU law protects you from taking a toe-clip onboard airplanes, or from mad cow disease, but on European E-Roads in winter your life is basically left to a daily lottery with bad odds.
(We like bad odds - and we loved that trip. Just to make the point ...)