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This review examines the literature available on the state of the environment and environmental protection in the Russian Federation. As the largest country on Earth, rich in natural resources and biodiversity, Russia's problems and policies have global consequences. Environmental quality and management are influenced by the legacy of Soviet economic planning and authoritarian governance, as well as by Russia's post-Soviet economic recession and current strategies of economic development. Russia achieved a reduction in some pollutants owing to the collapse of industrial production in the 1990s, but many environmental indicators suggest growing degradation. Russia has signed on to a number of international environmental agreements, but its record on implementation is mixed, and it discourages environmental activism. Scholarship on the Russian environment is a limited, but growing, field, constrained by challenges of data availability, yet it offers great potential for testing scientific and social scientific hypotheses. ©2008 by Annual Reviews.