Technologies for genome editing appeared during the last few years, triggering a revolution in fundamental life sciences as well as in their practical application. Targeted modification of the genome of any organism - from bacteria to humans - suddenly became accessible to almost every biological laboratory. This has given rise to a whole range of challenges for the world, including for Russia. Without rapid development of genome editing technologies, Russia risks to become an outsider in the field of medicine, agriculture and biotechnology. Research and development in this sphere should be a priority, because a catch-up development dooms to be lagging behind the world leaders. At the global level, because of the apparent ease of genome editing technologies, a gap appeared between the breadth of their use and the level of understanding of their mechanisms. This has led to a paradoxical situation: it is clear that in genome editing many breakthroughs are possible that would fundamentally improve technologies and expand the range of solvable problems, but there is no clear understanding of what needs to be done to achieve this goal. Solving this problem will allow to fully realize the great potential of genome editing in medicine, biotechnology and agriculture. Precisely in these areas advanced development is possible to address the specific Russian challenges.