Russian dairy enterprises underwent dramatic changes during 1990-2001. Not much is known about the position of these enterprises under the new conditions. This study examined a sample group of dairy enterprises in the Moscow region to try to identify similarities and divergences in historical background, performance, managerial and structural characteristics. A unique farm-level data set from 1990-2001 was used. Assessment of historical characteristics revealed that the currently most successful enterprises were those which in pre-reform years had already shown better economic performance. These farms also had, for the period studied, smaller percentages of reduced resources, no severe debt problems, and better overall management.