England’s goalless draw with Slovakia opened the door for Wales to take top spot and they barged right through it with goals from Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Gareth Bale.
Wales will now head to Paris on Saturday to play a best third-placed team and there will be real hope that they can go even further in this tournament.
On a night when Russia had to win to keep their own hopes alive, they were simply blown apart.
Bale was too hot to handle – scoring his third goal of the tournament in as many matches – and Ramsey ran the show in midfield as Wales shrugged off the pain of their last-gasp defeat to England on Thursday.
All four places in the group were open to Wales at the start of the game so there was an air of tension at kick-off.
Real Madrid forward Bale began his personal battle with Igor Akinfeev when he tested the Russia goalkeeper early on with a stinging shot.
Wales did not have to wait long for the breakthrough as James Chester intercepted a pass on the halfway line for Joe Allen to split the Russia defence with a superb pass.
Ramsey had timed his run perfectly to keep himself onside and he produced a finish to match by lofting the ball over Akinfeev.
Nine minutes later Bale again made a nuisance of himself and Roman Shirakov poked the ball into Taylor’s path. Akinfeev blocked his first attempt, but Taylor made no mistake with the rebound.
Bale added the third after 67 minutes. Ramsey’s pass sent Bale through, clearly onside, and he neatly chipped the ball past Akinfeev.