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About Andrei Kolesnikov

Moscow based journalist, editor of the op-ed section of Novaya Gazyeta, columnist of the Vedomosti daily and web magazine. Author of six books, including biography of controversial politician Anatoly Chubais

Articles by Andrei Kolesnikov

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Governing on autopilot

Like a crippled Dreamliner, the Russian economy is slowing to a standstill; the bureaucrats are ignoring instructions; even the scientists are in revolt. Andrei Kolesnikov asks, if Putin is governing on autopilot, will the passengers take over?

After Putin – who ?

Which ever way the forthcoming election swings, Russians will soon be looking for a new leader. With much of the current elite either of retiring age or discredited with voters, Andrey Kolesnikov wonders what a future presidential run-off could look like.

Pravoye delo: why the Kremlin puppeteers broke Prokhorov’s string

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s appointment as leader of the pro-market liberal party ‘Right Cause’ was greeted with scepticism. Now he has effectively been dismissed and the party has split. Was this part of the original plan or was Prokhorov becoming a threat? Andrei Kolesnikov considers the recent developments

Right cause. (Pity about the party...)

Last week, controversial billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov stepped up to head “The Right Cause”, a right-liberal party with ties to the Kremlin. The move could help secure the return of Russian liberals to legal politics. But is this what the liberals actually need, asks Andrei Kolesnikov?

The Right Cause: a suitcase without a handle

Optimistic reports of the Kremlin embracing liberal party politics have proven highly exaggerated. Such an agenda lacks the full support of the ruling elites, and as such is doomed to failure, explains Andrei Kolesnikov.

Putin and Medvedev: a split in the tandem?

The differences between Putin and Medvedev over the sacking of Mayor Luzhkov in 2010 were the first real crack in the Russian duumvirate. Khimki Forest, the Khodorkovsky guilty verdict and the manoeuvring for position before the 2012 presidential election are likely to exacerbate the situation further. Welcome to 2011, writes Andrei Kolesnikov.

"Be innovative!", orders the Kremlin

The Russian attempt to build Silicon Valley in Skolkovo is a case of throwing good money after bad, argues Andrei Kolesnikov. Russia badly needs systemic reform, not grand projects: without it there is no chance of achieving real, organic and high-tech innovation.

Khodorkovsky trial: a regime in the dock

The accusations against Khodorkovsky have collapsed now that two senior establishment figures have testified. He may still be found guilty. But the absurdity of this trial is eroding public confidence in Putin’s regime.

Ukraine: port of Russian illusions

Slavic reconciliation with "little brother Ukraine" has sent Russia starry-eyed, writes Andrei Kolesnikov. While Putin-Medvedev think they have regained an empire, the reality is that Ukrainian leaders have simply learned to do pragmatism.

Russia-Poland: a history too terrible

The plane crash at Smolensk which Poland’s president has provoked an outpouring of Russian sympathy, from Putin down. It has helped many Russians identify their country’s responsibility for the Katyn massacre in 1940. But it has left many others unmoved, even cynical. ‘Re-setting’ Russian-Polish relations is not going to be easy.
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