Yevgenia Albats: Wikis


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Yevgenia Markovna Albats (Russian: Евгения Марковна Альбац, born 5 September 1958[1][2]) is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, writer and radio host.



Albats' father, Mark Yevgenyevich Albats was a member of GRU military reconnaissance team during World War II, residing in German-occupied Ukraine.[3] In 1943 he was wounded and discharged from the Army. Afterwards he worked as an engineer at a scientific institutions, designing radiolocation systems for the Soviet Army.[1][4] Albats' mother, Yelena Izmaylovskaya, was an actress and a radio news host.[4][5] Albats' elder sister, Tatyana Komarova, is a television host/anchor.[4] Albats was married to a journalist, writer and science popularizer Yaroslav Golovanov.[6][7]


Yevgenia Albats graduated from the Department of Journalism of Moscow State University in 1980. One of her classmates and friends was Anna Politkovskaya, who would become an investigative journalist.[8] She started her professional work as a science observer writing about astrophysics and particle physics for the Izvestia newspaper's Sunday supplement, Nedelya. From 1986 - 1992 she worked for the Moscow News. In 1996-2006 she worked for Izvestia (led the weekly column We and Our Children) and Novaya Gazeta. [9] She received the Golden Pen Award from the Russian Union of Journalists for exposing poor conditions in maternity wards in 1989. [10]

Albats was fired from Izvestia in 1997 after she had completed a major article exposing alleged illegal activities by the FSB.[11] She was restored to her position by a court decision on 15 March 1997.[1]

Political activities

From 1993 to 2000, she was a member of the Clemency Commission at the Executive Office of the President of the Russian Federation.


Albats was a Fellow at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism in 1993 (Fellowship at the Nieman Foundation).

In 2004 Albats was awarded a Ph.D in political science from Harvard University[12]. She is currently a Professor at the State University - Higher School of Economics. She works at the radio station Echo of Moscow and writes for the Moscow Times.

In 1992 Albats was appointed a member of a governmental commission to examine KGB involvement in Soviet coup attempt of 1991.[13][14] As a member of the this commission she interviewed KGB officers. Albats described her findings in The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia - Past, Present, and Future[15] in 1994. KGB chairman Vadim Bakatin gave Albats the number of KGB officers as 180,000 in a post-1991 interview. Using the "rule of thumb", "four non-ranking KGB employees for every officer", Albats estimated that the number of KGB employees in Russia in 1992 approached 700,000, "one [political police agent] for every 297 citizens of Russia", as opposed to "one Chekist for every 428 Soviet citizens."[15]

Albats described the KGB as a leading political force rather than a security organization. She wrote that KGB directors Lavrenty Beria, Yuri Andropov and Vladimir Kryuchkov manipulated Communist Party leaders. She asserted that FSB, the successor of KGB, became a totalitarian party.[15] Journalist John Barron[16], retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin[17] and the highest-ranking known Soviet bloc defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa[18] reportedly shared Albats's point of view.

In 1992 Albats published an article in Izvestia quoting documents from KGB archives that David Karr was "a competent KGB source" who "submitted information to the KGB on the technical capabilities of the United States and other capitalist countries".[19] She cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov[20], which claims that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an "authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi" from the CPSU in December 1985. Albats learned that the KGB employed the future Russian Patriarch Alexius II as an agent under a nick Drozdov.[15] KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin and dissident priest Gleb Yakunin who had access to KGB archives reported the same.[21][15]

Albats published a book, The Jewish question, in 1995.[22][23]

Talk shows

As of 2009 Albats hosted a radio talk program at Echo of Moscow. In February 2007 she held a talk with Olga Kryshtanovskaya, director of the Moscow-based Centre for the Study of Elites. Kryshtanovskaya said that FSB members and other "siloviks" took key positions in the Russian government, Parliament and business. These members share their military background and nationalistic views. She noted that most FSB members remain in the "acting reserve" even when they formally leave the organization. All "acting reserve" members receive an FSB salary, follow FSB instructions, and remain above the law because their organization protects them, according to Kryshtanovskaya. [24][25]

Albats criticized Anna Arutunyan[26] who had written an article in the Moscow News about the murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya.[27] Arutunyan wrote that Politkovskaya became an activist and that her articles contained "inaccuracies".

Online columnists Yelena Kalashnikova and Oleg Kashin found "boorishness" in Albats's criticism.[28][29]


  1. ^ a b c Editorial dossier,, referring to another web site Labyrinth.
  2. ^ The New Russia's Dictionary: a world of literature, Znamya
  3. ^ Memories about family members of Echo of Moscow's guests, Yevgenia Albats, 7 July 2004. Machine translation.
  4. ^ a b c We are here (Russian)
  5. ^ Interview with Tatyana Komarova.
  6. ^ Biography of Yaroslav Golovanov
  7. ^ Tanya Albats, poem by Semyon Ventzimerov
  8. ^ Evgeny Bystrov At the Journalism Faculty, Anya was the Modesty Incarnated Novaya Gazeta Kubany 1217 (95) of 14 December 2006 (Russian)
  9. ^ Albats' site at Echo of Moscow (Russian)
  10. ^ Standing Up to Death Threats
  11. ^ Post-Soviet Media Law & Policy Newsletter, Issue #36, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 20 April 1997
  12. ^ Bureaucrats and the Russian transition: The politics of accommodation, 1991-2003. PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2004 - 343 pages.
  13. ^ This commission was led by Sergei Stepashin, it should not be mixed with a similar commission created by Russian Duma at the same time, which was led by Lev Ponomarev
  14. ^ The Spies Who Stayed Out in the Cold, The New York Times, by Glenn Garelik, 27 November 1994
  15. ^ a b c d e Albats. KGB: The State Within a State. Translated from the Russian by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. 1995. ISBN 1850439958, ISBN 9781850439950. First edition in 1994, ISBN 0374527385, ISBN 9780374527389.
  16. ^ KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents, New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1974; London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1974. New York: Bantam Books, 1974
  17. ^ The Triumph of the KGB
  18. ^ Symposium: When an Evil Empire Returns, interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, R. James Woolsey, Jr., Yuri Yarim-Agaev and Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney,, 23 June 2006.
  19. ^ "Senator Edward Kennedy requested KGB assistance with a profitable contract for his businessman-friend", Izvestia, 24 June 1992, p. 5
  20. ^ Can Corrupt Politicians Preserve Freedom?
  21. ^ Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West, Gardners Books (2000), ISBN 0-14-028487-7
  22. ^ The Jewish question (Russian), Moscow, 1995, ISBN 5-735-80180-5
  23. ^ The Jewish question
  24. ^ (Russian)Siloviks in power: fears or reality?, interview with Olga Kryshtanovskaya by Yevgenia Albats, Echo of Moscow, February 4, 2007
  25. ^ In Russia, A Secretive Force Widens, Finn, P., Washington Post, 2006
  26. ^ "Does Russian society need a fourth estate?", Full Albats, a talk show by Yevgenia Albats, Echo of Moscow, 22 October 2006 (in Russian)
  27. ^ Journalist Murder a Conundrum, Anna Arutunyan, Moscow News, October 12, 2006.
  28. ^ "Boorishness as a World View" Kalashnikova, Yelena (in Russian)
  29. ^ Full Albats by Kasin, Oleg, business newspaper Vzgliad (in Russian), 26 October 2006


Articles by Albats

Articles, talks by Albats in Russian

Articles about Albats



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