This article examines the role of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) in Russia and the impact of tightening governmental accountability measures. Drawing on 18 interviews conducted in 2012-13 with Russian and international ENGOs, the article examines three key governance issues, namely: the collaborative relationship between the state and ENGOs, the impact of accountability measures on ENGO activities, and the relationships between ENGOs themselves. The findings reveal that ENGOs maintain a legitimate and effective role within Russian environmental governance. However, their legitimacy and success is significantly limited and threatened by increasing accountability measures and state actions. The article accordingly identifies a number of recommendations for increasing the likelihood of successful ENGO action in Russian environmental governance, including improving ENGO collaboration with the state and resolving tensions between participation and accountability.