This chapter introduces the curious topic of law and power interaction in Russia – a hybrid political system paradoxically associated with a strong, bureaucratic state with a legalistic tradition, and simultaneously comprehended as a law-less state in which only informal influence matters. The chapter and the book highlights selective law enforcement as a practice that perfectly illustrates this apparent paradox. The chapter reviews previous approaches to the selective enforcement of law in Russia and elsewhere, and claims that neither going native nor employing legal concepts can adequately encapsulate it as a phenomenon in Russian politics. Introducing a new concept and a roadmap for studying the phenomenon, the chapter defines selective law enforcement as a mechanism of repression aimed at enforcing informal rules of political conduct through selective legal acts. The chapter also contains important notes on the research methodology behind the book as well as a guide on the remaining chapters.