Andrei Kolesnikov

Senior Associate and Chair
Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program
Moscow Center
tel +7 495 935 8904 fax +7 495 935 8906
Kolesnikov is a senior associate and the chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.


MA, Moscow State University, Law Department, 1987


English; French; Polish; Russian

Contact Information


Andrei Kolesnikov is a senior associate and the chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. His research focuses on the major trends shaping Russian domestic politics, with particular focus on the fallout from the Ukraine crisis and ideological shifts inside Russian society.

Kolesnikov also works with the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and is a frequent contributor for Vedomosti,, and He sits on the board of the Yegor Gaidar Foundation and is a member of the Committee of Civil Initiatives (the Alexei Kudrin Committee).

Kolesnikov has worked for a number of leading Russian publications. He previously was the managing editor of Novaya Gazeta newspaper and served as deputy editor in chief of Izvestia and The New Times.

Kolesnikov has taught courses on journalism and modern media at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

He has won numerous journalism awards, including the Russian Golden Quill (Zolotoye Pero Rossii) Award, the Adam Smith Prize, and the Federal Press Agency Award.

Kolesnikov is author of several books, including a biography of Anatoly Chubais and an analysis of how speechwriters have impacted history.

  • Commentary July 26, 2016 Русский
    Drug Testing the Kremlin

    Russia’s doping scandal has shown how sports mirror politics when they become matters of national importance. Like the regime, Russian sports are now mired in fraud, deception, hysterical patriotism, and oversensitivity.

  • Commentary July 22, 2016 Русский
    Relegitimizing Russian Power

    Although Russian officials were initially shocked and concerned about the military coup in Turkey, it has in fact given them a formula for strengthening their gradually declining regime: all they have to do to restore their vanishing legitimacy is declare themselves defenders of democracy.

  • Commentary June 22, 2016 Русский
    The Road From 1996: Russia’s Failure of Democracy

    Boris Yeltsin’s reelection in 1996, hailed as a triumph of democracy, now looks like a Pyrrhic victory. The means by which the process was manipulated set a precedent for the Putin era.

  • Article June 14, 2016 Русский
    Do Russians Want War?

    War and terrorism have become increasingly routine facts of life in Russia. Since 2014, this reality has become an essential tool for stimulating popular support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Op-Ed Project Syndicate June 1, 2016
    The Secret of Putin’s Survival

    In the absence of open political competition, Putin has built a system of checks and balances within the elite. This system keeps Russia’s elites from pushing for change, as it precludes the possibility of anti-Putin intrigue.

  • Commentary May 24, 2016 Русский
    Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid Capsizing?

    Some Russian experts are predicting that the current Russian regime will last another ten years. Change is inevitable, but no one can forecast what form it will take. In the short term, the trend is for inertia and no change.

  • Commentary May 23, 2016 Русский
    Point of No Return: Finland and Sweden Weigh Up NATO

    Russia’s unpredictability means there is a lack of clarity on the direction the country will take after 2018. Is NATO membership really crucial for Finland and Sweden in the long term if Russia follows the best-case scenario, or even if it enters a state of inertia?

  • Commentary March 21, 2016 Русский
    Two Years After Crimea: The Evolution of a Political Regime

    The system, its leader, and the popular majority formed after Crimea will survive the 2018 presidential election. The existing regime is incapable of democratization. At the same time, it is dangerous to ratchet up repression. The government is trying to encourage inertia, but this is becoming increasingly difficult after Crimea, Donbas, Syria, and Turkey. Aggression is self-perpetuating.

  • Commentary February 26, 2016 Русский
    Russia’s Schism: One Year After Boris Nemtsov’s Murder

    The assassination one year ago of the man who was once Russia’s brightest liberal hope did not, as many wished, change the course of the country’s politics. But it did mark a moment of irreversible change for the country’s liberal minority.

  • Article February 16, 2016 Русский
    Caught Between Reform and Revanche: Russia’s Struggle to Modernize

    Serious economic reforms cannot be implemented unless Russia’s political atmosphere and institutions grow more supportive of individual freedom.


Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Moscow Center
16/2 Tverskaya Moscow, 125009 Russia
Phone: +7 495 935-8904 Fax: +7 495 935-8906
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