President Vladimir Putin said that one of his own daughters had received the inoculation, dubbed "Sputnik" after the pioneering 1950s Soviet satellite.
Western scientists have previously raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners.
"I know that it is quite effective, that it gives sustainable immunity," Putin said of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with Moscow's defence ministry.
Russia hopes to begin production in September and start vaccinating medical staff immediately afterwards.
Russia's deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova on Wednesday said that the country is preparing to approve a second vaccine 'EpiVacCorona' against the novel coronavirus in late September or early October.
Putin's announcement came after scientists in the West raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners after coming under pressure from authorities to deliver.
"This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered" in Russia, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.
Mass production within weeks
Russia been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out "several million" doses per month by next year.
The World Health Organization last week had urged Russia last week to follow established guidelines and go "through all the stages" necessary to develop a safe vaccine.
Viral vector vaccine
Spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters at the time that the WHO had not been officially notified of any Russian vaccine on the verge of being deployed.
The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilisation of funding and research to rush through a vaccine that can protect billions of people worldwide.
The vaccine developed by Russia's so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.
Russian vaccine candidates
Experts said they were concerned that not enough was known about Russia's research.
"There seems to be rather little detail thus far on Russian (vaccine) candidates," said Danny Altmann, a professor of Immunology at Imperial College London.
"The collateral damage from release of any vaccine that was less than safe and effective could exacerbate our current problems insurmountably."
The vaccine developed by Russia is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.
Gamaleya's vaccine is based on the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China's CanSino.
The state-run Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and its director injected themselves with the prototype several months ago, with specialists criticising the move as an unorthodox and rushed way of starting human trials.