This article examines the problems concerning the observance by the Russian Federation of European conventions, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture. In recent years, there has been a signifi cant breakthrough in the development of Russian legislation in light of human rights' principles and standards laid down by the Council of Europe. At the same time, the implementation of European standards in the law enforcement area has been carried out at a distinctly slow pace, particularly in relation to the criminal–executive system (where the first tentative steps towards the reform of penitentiary institutions have only been recently taken), the rights of migrants and refugees, the protection of the rights of armed forces personnel, and human rights in Chechnya. This article analyses the problems involved in the legal and judicial protection of human rights in Russia as well as issues concerning the restriction of citizens' rights in special circumstances (such as war or a state of emergency) and the protection of social rights. Lastly, the creation of a unifi ed legal space for human rights in the Russian Federation will also be discussed.