In the beginning of 1992, in order to do away with the ruins of the old communist system once and for all, radical economic reforms--'shock therapy'--were introduced in Russia. However, there are winners and losers in the Russian transition from communism to market economy and democracy. The aim of the study is to investigate whether there are educational differences in self-rated health among the citizens of Taganrog in 1993-94. If there are indeed differences, the second aim is to investigate whether they can be explained by variations in specific social, economic and psychological circumstances, which are known to be affected by the present social and economic transformation in Russia. The analysed survey was carried out in a middle-sized Russian city, Taganrog, in late 1993 and early 1994. It was conducted by means of face-to-face interviews, with a sampling frame consisting of dwellings selected from an official register and stratified by type and size. The analysed sample consists of 2372 respondents, aged 25-54 years, in 1414 households. Data were analysed in logistic regressions with self-rated health as a dichotomised outcome variable. The results show that those with less than compulsory education reported poor health twice as often as the highest-educated group. Material prosperity and relations within the family were important for self-rated health and explained to a certain degree the educational health differences. Lower educational groups now live under conditions often characterised by economic hardship, family conflicts, etc., and consequently also poor health.