Progress in neurology and neuroradiology has had a tremendous impact on the improvement of quality of diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases of the central nervous system. Stoke remains one of the major problems of modern medicine. It is the second most common cause of mortality and the leading cause of adult disability worldwide. Ischaemic stroke accounts for 80-85% of all cases of stroke, while haemorrhagic stroke – for the remaining 15-20% (thereof, 10% are intracerebral haemorrhages and 5% – subarachnoid haemorrhages). Thus, the vast majority of strokes are ischaemic in nature. Focal brain ischaemia is mainly caused by local reduction or cessation of blood flow due to embolism or thrombosis, which in turn leads to energy and oxygen deficit in the area of ischaemia. As estimated, at least 1/6 of the general population is at risk of at least one cerebral ischaemic event over their lifetime. Stroke is an utmost dangerous condition, not only because of mortality risk associated therewith, but also because of severe disability of stroke survivors (nearly 80% of stroke cases). To date, elucidation of pathophysiology of this process, development and introduction of effective therapies remains the focus of interest of representatives of many scientific disciplines. Experimental models of brain ischaemia are widely used mainly in biochemical and pathophysiological research, but they do not play any significant role in the search for novel stroke therapies. This paper describes most commonly used experimental models of cerebral ischaemia. Their advantages, disadvantages and possible causes of discrepancy between results of experimental and clinical studies are discussed. Development of new experimental models, their validation and correlation with results of clinical trials remain a considerable challenge for investigators. In the future, such studies may provide solution to issues and problems associated with stroke pathogenesis and treatment.