In the former Soviet Union, pathologists usually do not examine cytological specimens. Cytology belongs to another field of practice: laboratory medicine. Not all cytologists find enough time to compare their reports with histopathological ones, while histological and cytological specimens are hardly ever confronted; this opportunity of quality control is therefore lost. There are no nationwide programs of cervical cancer prevention. There are almost no laboratory technicians for screening of cytological smears. Overall, there are grounds for optimism: the improved economy makes it possible today to acquire modern equipment and literature, while broadening international co-operation is already attracting foreign expertise into the country. © 2010 Jargin.