This chapter reviews the major trends in real incomes and inequality and considers poverty thresholds applied as instruments of poverty measurement in Russia. It analyses evidence on the incidence of poverty and regional variations in its level and focuses on the composition of poverty, with an attempt to identify who the poor are in Russia as well as what are the main causes that bring them into poverty. The need for adequate policy responses has stimulated considerable activity on poverty research in Russia. The official subsistence minimum regarded by the Russian Ministry of Labour as a poverty line has a number of advantages as an instrument for empirical poverty research. Much evidence suggests that incidence of poverty in Russia has increased since the beginning of the economic transition in 1992. Survey data reveal that only about one in several Russian households relies solely upon the wage at the main job or on transfers received from the system of social protection.