May 26, 2016

About Us

Russia Direct is a publication that experts and senior decision makers rely on to debate and understand Russia's relationship with the world and the US in particular. Founded in 2013, Russia Direct features original reporting as well as fresh writing from a wide variety of experts from both Russia and around the world who deliver insight often missing from today's media landscape. Every day, Russia Direct gives our growing and very influential audience unique intelligence on the people, trends, issues and challenges that are driving the global conversation about Russia.

In addition to daily content on its website, Russia Direct also offers exclusive benefits to subscribers such as weekly newsletters, and monthly reports.

Russia Direct Report: 'Where to study Russia now'Russia Direct Report: 'Terrorism: Inside Russia's Syria campaign and the global fight against extremism'

Russia Direct offers monthly analytical reports on the most timely topics — from Russian domestic politics to Russia's business and foreign policy. Written by Russian and international authors, the reports also contain infographics and provide readers with different viewpoints on the same topic which are often missing in traditional media.

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Ekaterina Zabrovskaya is the Editor-in-Chief of Russia Direct and is an experienced journalist and editor with an extensive background covering Russian domestic politics and foreign-affairs for Russia’s leading news agency RIA Novosti, and for Russia Beyond the Headlines. Prior to her appointment as the editor-in-chief of Russia Direct, she worked as Deputy Chief Editor for Foreign Affairs at Russia Beyond the Headlines where, among other duties, she produced RBTH supplements to The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Ekaterina graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, with a BA in Journalism and earned her Master’s degree in Political Science from Miami University, U.S.A., as a Fulbright scholar. She is passionate about journalism and international relations, and is inspired to improve mutual understanding between the two countries.

Pavel Koshkin is the Executive Editor, Russia. He is an experienced journalist in both Russian domestic and foreign policy issues. Before his appointment as the deputy editor-in-chief of Russia Direct, Koshkin served as an English-language web editor and staff writer for RBTH. He is an alumnus of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). In 2011-2012, he participated in the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF). SURF brings together leading Russian and U.S. pundits with enthusiastic students who want to improve bilateral relations between the countries. As part of the program, Koshkin and his American colleagues did research on the ways the United States and Russia respond to international money laundering. A graduate of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Koshkin has contributed to a number of Russian and foreign media outlets, including Russia Profile, Kommersant and the Moscow bureau of the BBC. In addition to his work at Russia Direct, he is currently working toward a Ph.D. in international journalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University. His dissertation will focus on the ways American columnists covered U.S-China and U.S.-Russian relations between 2008 and 2013.

Ksenia Zubacheva is the Managing Editor. Prior to joining Russia Direct, she spent a year and a half at the University of Bristol working on her postgraduate dissertation on BRICS and their role in the development of the Russian economy. In addition to this research, she participated in the Model NATO Youth Summit (MoNYS’2013). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Oriental and African Studies from the Institute of Practical Oriental Studies (Moscow) and also has experience working as a radio editor for the South Asian Department of Voice of Russia.

Alexey Khlebnikov is the Senior Editor. He is also an experienced international relations researcher with a focus on the Middle East and Russian foreign policy. Alexey graduated with both a BA and MA in International Relations from Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod. As part of his Master’s and Ph.D. studies, he has made several research trips, including Syria (Aleppo University, Damascus University), Israel (Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Hungary (Central European University). Alexey also has governmental experience, which he gained while working for the Office of the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy in the Volga Federal district. He has been published on international relations topics in academic journals and media sources in both Russia and Israel. Before joining the Russia Direct team, he received his Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in the United States as an Edmund S. Muskie Scholar. Currently he is working towards his Ph.D. in international relations at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod.

Dominic Basulto is the Executive Editor, U.S. He has extensive experience in digital media including a regular blog with The Washington Post and a daily blog on Winter Olympics host city Sochi. In addition to publishing the first-ever iPad travel guide to Sochi, Dominic has lived in the House of Writers in Moscow, taught finance at Moscow's first MBA program, published a weekly column for a Russian newspaper and completed a certificate program in Russian language from Moscow State University. He has an undergraduate degree in Politics and Russian Studies from Princeton and an MBA in emerging markets from Yale.

Eugene Abov is the Chairman of the Russia Direct and Deputy Director general of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta Publishing House, Publisher of the company’s international media publication “Russia Beyond the Headlines”. A native of Moscow and a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) he has spent his career in Russian media management working for such organizations as Moskovskiye Novosti, ProfMedia and NewsCorp. Since 1998, Abov has been Vice President of the Guild of Press Publishers (GIPP); and since 2001 – Vice President of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). He is a two-time winner of the Media Manager of the Year award (in 2001 and 2008).

Julia Golikova is the Director for Development of Russia Direct and Deputy Publisher, Commercial and Foreign Partnership Director of Russia Beyond The Headlines. She is responsible for business relations and strategic partnerships with major world media titles such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, Le Figaro, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Gulf News, South China Morning Post, managing the directorate budget, developing and executing revenue growth strategies, identifying new commercial activities and leaving no options for loopholes through which new business or profit could escape. Before joining the launch of Russia Beyond the Headlines in 2007, Julia has more than 7 years of professional experience in communications and business development in oil and gaz companies and wine retail business responsible for bringing new brands to the Russian market.

Olga Fastova is the Associate Publisher of Russia Direct. She is a versatile media manager with more than 15 years of experience in marketing, branding, events management and team leadership. Previously she worked as Marketing Director for Russia’s leading independent business daily Vedomosti, a joint project of WSJ and FT, where she was responsible for marketing strategy, corporate and individual subscription services, sales support and events. Before transitioning to the media market, she worked for several fast-moving consumer goods brands in Russia. She has a B.A. in marketing and business communications from the Moscow State University of Management and an M.B.A. from the Academy of National Economy under the government of the Russian Federation.

Maria Shashaeva is the Deputy Publisher, Circulation, Digital Strategy and Operations. She has almost 10 years experience in all types of Russian media. She started working in TV production and then moved to the magazine industry. As the media environment changed, so did she, and she began working in digital publishing in various positions, supporting and developing online products. Maria has graduated Moscow Technical Communications and Informatics University to get a technical bachelor's degree with honors and also studied in NYFA for a Producer's degree.

Olga Ivanova is the Senior Advisor. Olga has more than 10 years of media management, communications and marketing experience in the United States and Russia. Prior to joining Russia Direct, Olga spent three years at The World Bank, working for the External Communications department. She also worked for various media outlets and digital agencies, serving as a consultant to a number of Russian media companies. Olga is a Muskie Scholar for Journalism and Mass Communications and has a MS in Media Arts and Technology from Duquesne University. She also holds a BA in Journalism and BA in Linguistics magna cum laude degrees from Baikal State University of Economics and Law and from Irkutsk State Linguistic University. She has a fascination with media business, all things digital, learning foreign languages and cultures, and traveling the world.

Andrey Shimarskiy is the Art Director. He is responsible for the overall design and format of Russia Direct as well as its online and print products. He has extensive experience in creating a successful image for a multinational brand, such as Russia Beyond the Headlines, and adapting it according to the country of publication while increasing the brand awareness. Andrey graduated from the Moscow State Academic Art College in Memory of the Year 1905 with a degree in Graphic Design and the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts with a degree in Interior Design.

Andrei Zaitsev is the Head of the Illustration Department. He is responsible for the quality and content of all photographs, illustrations and infographics published in RD reports and on the website. Andrei has been working with photography since 2001 in such media publications as Bravo, GEO and Komsomolskaya Pravda. Andrei is a graduate of Moscow's National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) with a major in Materials Science.

Nadezhda Suetina is the Research Director. She is responsible for audience analytics and evaluating the effectiveness of the publication and its marketing and communication strategy. Nadezhda has more than three years of experience in the field of market and media research specializes in analytics of advertising and corporate communications. She holds a Master’s degree in sociology from Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Helen Borisenko is the Research Manager. She carries out audience analytics and evaluates the main indicators of Russia Direct’s website performance. Helen also has experience working as a researcher in an International parenting study program and in a Russian RDW media publishing house. She has been a project manager and analyst in one of Moscow’s most prominent research agencies for three years. Helen is a marketing graduate of the Russian State University for the Humanities’ Sociology Department and is included in the university’s list of top graduates.

Kleymenova Maria is the Events Coordinator, Russia. She is dealing with promotion at Russian market, GR and corporate image of the company. Has extensive experience in PR management. Maria graduated from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and also studied marketing at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.

Ekaterina Belan is the Digital Marketing Manager at Russia Direct. Her responsibilities include promoting the RD brand digitally and growing the number of readers and subscribers. Ekaterina has 8 years of experience in online media, marketing management and digital strategy for creative businesses. Prior to joining Russia Direct, she co-founded Popsop, an English-language online journal on marketing communications in Moscow in 2008. Later in 2011, she spent a year in London establishing the media brand in the U.K. Ekaterina holds an MA in International Economic Relations and a postgraduate certification in Business Journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University. In her spare time, she reads books by modern American novelists and plays piano.

Elena Potapova is the Head of Video and Mobile. She is a multimedia journalist with more than five years of experience in international media. Her reporting has appeared at L'Ouest-France (France), the Miami Herald (United States) and Russia Beyond the Headlines (Russia). Elena also created and ran a seminar called "Hypertext and Multimedia" at Lomonosov Moscow State University to teach new media skills to journalism students.

Yaroslav Cohen is the Digital Innovations and Production Producer. He is responsible for development of new formats and digital production for web and mobile platforms. Yaroslav has experience in different digital fields, from development of large-scale web projects to small web apps, including art direction of live-action movies, multimedia journalism, photography, design and marketing. He graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University where he is currently working towards a Ph.D., focusing on modern mobile journalism practices and streamlined processes of gathering information and further distribution within media.

Daria Grigorieva is Russia Direct's web editor. Daria is currently a senior at Columbia University majoring in political science. Her studies focus on international relations and comparative politics. Prior to working for Russia Direct, she interned for Dozhd’ TV channel and Sergey Kuznetsov Content Group in Russia. She has also written for the Columbia Spectator, Columbia University's daily.

The goal of the publication is to improve multilateral relations at interpersonal, inter-agency and intergovernmental levels. At Russia Direct, we create a vibrant platform for the world's leading experts on Russia so that monologues become full-fledged dialogue between Russia and other countries. 

Read also Editor's note: What is Russia Direct all about?

Russia Direct along with Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) is funded by advertising and sponsorship sales as well as financial support from Russia's leading daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta.


Russian International Affairs Council

Russian International Affairs Council

Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) is a Russian non-profit organization focused on strengthening peace, friendship and solidarity between people, preventing international conflicts and promoting crisis settlement. Its mission is to facilitate a prosperous Russia through its full integration in the global community. It serves as a link between government, the expert community, business and civil society in an ongoing dialogue on foreign policy issues. RIAC was established in February 2010.

The Guardian's The New East Network

The Guardian's The New East Network

The New East network is a collaboration between the Guardian and a series of specialist sites writing from and about the 15 countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. Together with the partners the network hopes to expand the conversation about the region that they call the New East, and move beyond the polarised debate of East vs. West. It features articles from the partners as well as the Guardian’s correspondents, commissions exclusive pieces from regional experts and republishes interesting work from around the web — often translating local languages into English as well as some of its work into Russian.

Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)

Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN)

ISKRAN is one of the leading Russian academic and research institutions for North American studies. It was founded in 1967 by Dr. Georgy Arbatov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who led it until 1995. The current head of ISKRAN is Dr. Sergey Rogov, also a member of the Academy of Sciences. ISKRAN is a leading think tank that formulates recommendations for members of the Russian political elite that are engaged with decision-making on domestic, foreign and defense policy issues.

The Russian National Committee for BRICS Studies (BRICS/NRC)

The Russian National Committee for BRICS Studies (BRICS/NRC)

The National Committee for BRICS Studies, founded in 2011, deals exclusively with issues related to economic and political alliances between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Out of all the Russian foreign policy think tanks that focus on international issues, BRICS/NRC is the only one that deals with a single, globally significant topic.

The Foreign Policy Analysis Group

The Foreign Policy Analysis Group

The Foreign Policy Analysis Group is a strategic intelligence and research organization based in Moscow, Russia. It advises on foreign policy and international affairs with an aim to produce the most accurate analysis of current affairs in international relations from non-Western perspective. Armed with a sober assessment and prognosis of political risks, the Group provides a steady ground for action in CIS, Eurasia and elsewhere. Dr. Andrey Sushentsov heads the Foreign Policy Analysis Group since 2014.

The Valdai Discussion Club

The Valdai Discussion Club

The Valdai Discussion Club was founded in 2004. It has been recognized as an international platform for cooperation between leading world experts and Russian scientists, politicians and government officials. The Club is currently focused on research on global political and economic processes. Over 1,000 representatives of the international scholarly communities from 62 countries have taken part in the Club’s activities. Within the framework of the Club’s annual sessions, its participants traditionally meet with the President of Russia and other high-ranking government officials.

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