At great personal peril, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats tells it like it is—to the Russians who depend on her and to us, who need her.
Yevgenia M. Albats is a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author, and radio host. She has been a non resident Senior Fellow, Davis Center for Russian & Eurasia Studies, Harvard University, since 2020.
Since 2007 she has been the Political Editor and then Editor-in-Chief and CEO of The New Times, a Moscow-based, Russian language independent political weekly. Since 2004, Albats has hosted Absolute Albats, a talk-show on Echo Moskvy, which was the only remaining liberal radio station in Russia until recently. Both The New Times and Echo Moskvy have been blocked by the Russian government in the last weeks. Yevgenia now works only on a virtual private network and her show has been moved to her YouTube channel.
Albats received the Golden Pen Award in 1989, the highest journalism honor in the then-Soviet Union. She was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow assigned to the Chicago Tribune in 1990, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993. She graduated from Moscow State University in 1980 and received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 2004. She is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) since its founding in 1996. Albats taught at Yale in 2003-2004. She was a full-time professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, teaching the institutional theory of the state and bureaucracy, until 2011 when her courses were canceled at the request of top Kremlin officials.
In 2017 Albats was chosen as an inaugural fellow at Kelly’s Writers House and Perry House at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019 — 2020 she taught authoritarian politics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Albats is the author of 4 books, including The State Within A State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia. Past, Present and Future (Germany 1991, Russia 1992, United States and other countries 1994-1995).
In August, 1968 American anti-war protesters chanted, “The Whole World is Watching.” What might have been hyperbole then, is fact now: the whole world really is watching Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Except for audiences in Russia itself, that is, where there is virtually no reporting of what is happening in Ukraine that doesn’t mesh with the government’s narrative about what it calls its “special operation” to crush Ukrainian “Nazism” in the pursuit of “Christian values.”
Surreal, perhaps. But, hyper real, in fact.
Among the many thousands of Russians reportedly fleeing their country are scores of Russia’s best journalists who have (understandably) given up the good fight. However, at least one has not: Yevgenia Albats, our guest on this episode of New Thinking for a New World.
When the government stopped her from publishing and ended her radio show, she found ways to keep talking to her Russian audiences. And when I asked her to talk to us, she immediately agreed.
At great personal peril, Yevgenia tells it like it is—to the Russians who depend on her and to us, who need her.