For an observer, it is clear that events taking place in international criminal law in the period between the 1980s and 2010s had a minimal impact on Russia. The country ratified some, but not all, of the new conventions on combating serious crimes and signed, but did not ratify, the Rome Statute. The international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were initially supported but later the Yugoslavian tribunal was much criticized at the political level, and this opposition was partly transferred to the International Criminal Court. Russia’s minimalistic approach to international criminal law had an influence on national criminal legislation, and its status with regard to international crimes might be characterized as deplorable. In contrast, at the theoretical level there is now a rising interest in international criminal law and a cognizance of the need for reforms. The efforts at reform in national legislation reveal general and particular problems which should be resolved in the course of implementing the legislation. These problems are outlined and the methods used to overcome them are presented in this article. This negative experience and proposed solutions might be edifying for other jurisdictions.