Alberto Paloschi gave Italy the lead in Russia, but the Under-21 side fell to a 3-2 defeat in today’s friendly.
Pierluigi Casiraghi tested out new faces in St Petersburg with the final match before the European Championship qualifiers, including Manchester United’s Federico Macheda as a substitute.
Parma striker Paloschi had given them the half-time lead away from home.
However, six minutes after the restart Russia equalised through Smolov.
Mamaev converted a penalty 12 minutes later and, despite Russia going down to 10 men from the 73rd, Salughin completed the rout.
Brescia defender Andrea Rispoli made the scoreline better reading for Italy fans with his header in stoppages.
There was also bad news for full-back Lorenzo De Silvestri, who sustained a knee injury, while Mario Balotelli limped off too.
This was the start of a new two-year cycle for the Under-21 squad and many players were making their debuts.
The European Under-21 Championship qualifiers open on September 8 against Luxembourg in Novara.