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 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.

  • Commentary January 22, 2016 Русский
    Russia’s Waiting Room

    The Russian system is in a crisis whose outcome is uncertain. But social protest is unlikely to deliver change. Change is more likely to come about through modernization from above.

  • Commentary January 18, 2016 Русский
    By Bread Alone: Why Poor Russians Aren't Protesting

    Russians are tightening their belts and forgoing luxuries to cope with the new economic crisis. But they are conditioned to avoid protest. The government has little to fear, but the result is systemic poverty and economic stagnation.

  • Commentary December 17, 2015 Русский
    Russian Truckers Shout, the State is Silent

    Truck drivers have staged the biggest anti-government protest in Russia since 2012. But the logic of their discontent is one they are so far unprepared to accept: that the whole political system is at fault.

  • Commentary December 7, 2015 Русский
    Putin’s Theater: Signs and Slogans for the Russian Elite

    President Putin’s annual national addresses are short of ideas, but serve the purpose of sending signals to the Russian elite. This year, Putin underlined the idea of Russia as a nation under siege.

  • Op-Ed Vedomosti October 22, 2015 Русский
    A Background War

    The Kremlin needs the constant narrative of a war in which it plays a righteous role to maintain public loyalty


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