This article analyses the role and place of innovations in Russian economy during the economic crisis, because the transition to innovative type of development can recover Russian economy from stagnation. The main cause of the Russian economic recession is the global economic crisis of 2008–2009. The main factors of the retardation of economic development are the following: rapidly decreasing global prices for energy resources, the ruble exchange rate weakening with respect to the main foreign currencies, complex geopolitical situation, economic sanctions against Russian Federation and worsening of the «investment climate». The role of innovations during recession is described in the article. The place of innovations in Russian economics is illustrated by statistical data. The manufacturing industry is the basic branch, so its scientific and production performance has a particular value for the development of innovations. Based on the study carried out, it is possible to draw the conclusion that innovation is the basic factor of socio-economic development; in 2014 Russian Federation spent less than 1 % of the GDP for funding science financing; the financing of R&D by industrial companies progressively increases, however, the largest Russian companies do not invest in renovation of main production assets and their current operating expenses prevail in the cost structure; the aim of the state during stagnation should be an integrated approach to increasing innovation activity and creating favorable economic conditions for capital investment. Primary directions for enhancing the innovation activity in the industrial sector are suggested.