We reviewed published evidence on quality improvement in hospitals in the Russian Federation since 2000. We used three data sources: MEDLINE, ‘Rossiiskaia Meditsina’ (Central Scientific Medical Library), and elibrary.ru using specific search terms. No language or study design restrictions were imposed. In total, 1717 articles were identified; 51 met the inclusion criteria and were thematically analysed. Russian legislation, government acts and grey literature were sourced to contextualise identified themes. Since 2010, the Federal Ministry of Health has increasingly sought to improve quality of care, providing additional resources and new initiatives across the health system. These include clinical practice guidelines, pay for performance schemes, electronic medical records, more specialist care, paraclinical care, and quality control systems. Quality of care, increasingly a concern of the Russian government, is said to be improving. Yet most initiatives have rarely been evaluated. This reflects the limited capacity for health services research in Russia. It seems likely that the full potential for improvements in quality of care in Russia is still to be realised.