Alexei Venediktov

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Alexey Venediktov
Native name
Алексей Алексеевич Венедиктов
Born (1955-12-18) 18 December 1955 (age 63)
Alma materMoscow State Pedagogical University
Station(s)Echo of Moscow

Alexey Alexeyevich Venediktov (Russian: Алексе́й Алексе́евич Венеди́ктов; born 18 December 1955) is a Russian journalist, editor-in-chief, host and co-owner[1] of the Echo of Moscow radio station, as well as publisher of Diletant history magazine.


Alexey Venediktov was born in Moscow, USSR on 18 December, 1955. His paternal grandfather Nikolai Andrianovich Venediktov served in NKVD and was awarded an Order of the Red Star for taking part in court-martials and creating barrier troops during the Great Patriotic War.[2] His father, Alexei Nikolaevich Venediktov, was a navy submarine officer killed in a storm shortly before Alexei's birth. Venediktov's mother, Eleonora Abramovna Dykhovichnaya, was a doctor of Jewish origin; she came from a generation of prominent engineers. In 1983 she along with Alexei's sister emigrated to the United States.[3] One of her cousins was a film director Ivan Dykhovichny. A popular musician Andrey Makarevich also happens to be Alexei's distant relative.[4][5]

Venediktov graduated from the evening division of Moscow State Pedagogical University in 1978. After graduation he worked as a postman for some time, then as a history teacher for 20 years straight, 19 of them — at the Moscow school №875.[6]

Since 1990 he has been working for Echo of Moscow radio.[6] He started out as a newspaper observer and reporter and later headed the news division. He has been editor-in-chief of Echo of Moscow since 1998. During his tenure he interviewed presidents Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Francois Hollande, Kersti Kaljulaid and Ilham Aliyev; German chancellor Angela Merkel; US Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice; Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and many other prominent political leaders. From 2002 until 2010 Venediktov also served as president of Echo TV Russia.

On December 6, 1994 Venediktov traveled to Grozny as a correspondent for Echo to cover talks between Dzhokhar Dudayev and Russian parliamentarians who came to rescue Russian officers captured during an unsuccessful tank assault on Grozny. The meeting didn't happen, as Dudayev left to meet with general Pavel Grachev. The parliamentarians tried to persuade the captured officers to go home with them, but they were afraid, likely threatened that they'd be killed if they agreed. Venediktov took out a tape recorder and told the officers to say on record that they won't go anywhere, so that their families could know. The meeting was immediately stopped, and Dudaev's guards escorted him outside, made him face the wall and staged a mock execution. Ten minutes of clicking the bolts, and Venediktov was brought back. The delegation was allowed to take 7 out of 14 prisoners back to Moscow[7].

In 2006 he co-hosted a short-lived TV show In the Circle of Light with Svetlana Sorokina at Domashny TV channel. It was shut down within two weeks, supposedly for its harsh critics of the Judiciary of Russia, although the producer, Alexander Rodnyansky, denied it had anything to do with politics.[8]

In February 2012 Venediktov resigned from Echo's board of directors in protest against the Gazprom-Media attempt to announcement to change the board.[9] He later said that it was Vladimir Putin who personally saved him and his station from closure by Mikhail Lesin. According to Venediktov, this happened at least twice during the Dmitry Medvedev's presidency.[10] Venediktov returned to the board in 2014, only to leave it again in June 2018. This time he opposed the harmful budgeting decisions made by the station's top management.[11]

Until 2015 33.02% of all Echo of Moscow's shares were owned by the American company EM-Holding, with 1/3 of them belonging to Venediktov and Yuri Fedutinov (ex-chief executive at the station) and others — to the Israeli media mogul Vladimir Gusinsky and his partners. But in 2015 the Russian State Duma passed a new law forbidding foreign citizens from owning more than 20% of all shares in a national media company. In order to bypass it, a Russian-based company named Echo of Moscow Holding Company was registered. As of 2016, it owned 13.10% of total shares (49.5% of them belonged to Venediktov alone), while the American company controlled 19.92% of shares.[1]

In 2012 Venediktov founded the first popular history magazine in Russia, Diletant. In 2014 he became the sole publisher of the magazine, and in 2018 Diletant started to break even, with circulation reaching 60.000.[12][circular reference]

Venediktov described his political views as conservative and himself as a reactionary, with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher representing his «ideals in politics».[13]

He is a member of the Public Board of the Russian Ministry of Defence[14] and the Civic Chamber of Moscow since 2016.[15]



  1. ^ a b Alexey Venediktov at Echo of Moscow, January 1, 2016 (in Russian)
  2. ^ Award list scans
  3. ^ Alexei Venediktov: "I'm very fast" interview at Radio "Liberty", March 19, 2016 (in Russian)
  4. ^ Interview with Alexei Venediktov by Dmitry Gordon, June 6, 2014 (in Russian)
  5. ^ Interview with Alexei Venediktov at Dmitry Gordon's Youtube channel, June 6, 2014 (in Russian)
  6. ^ a b Staff radio show at Echo of Moscow, December 16, 2000 (in Russian)
  7. ^ "Александр Черкасов: В последний час - ПОЛИТ.РУ". Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  8. ^ Arina Borodina. Svetlana Sorokina and Alexei Venediktov Are Out of Circle by Kommersant, September 15, 2006 (in Russian)
  9. ^ Russia Radio Shake-up Follows Putin Criticism
  10. ^ Ilya Azar. I'm a Big Boy interview at Meduza, November 28, 2014 (in Russian)
  11. ^ Alexei Venediktov leaves Echo of Moscow board of directors
  12. ^ Дилетант (журнал) — Википедия (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  13. ^ Natalia Kochetkova. Alexei Venediktov, the Chief Editor of Echo of Moscow: I'm a Double-Dyed Reactionary interview by Izvestia, February 27, 2008 (in Russian)
  14. ^ Famous media executives, such as Alexei Venedictov, the main editor at Echo of Moscow, were invited at the official Ministry of Defence website (in Russian)
  15. ^ Alexei Venediktov: The Composition of the Civic Chamber of Moscow Has Been Fully Shaped by RIA Novosti, April 11, 2016 (in Russian)
  16. ^ Order of the President of Russian Federation No 1594 from December 3, 1999 at the official Presidential Administration of Russia website (in Russian)
  17. ^ French ambassador awarded the editor-in-chief of Echo of Moscow with a Legion of Honour at, September 28, 2006 (in Russian)
  18. ^ A grand awarding ceremony was held in the Embassy of Poland at the Embassy of Poland in Moscow official website, July 31, 2014 (in Russian)
  19. ^ About receiving the Award of Artyom Borovik in New York interview at Echo of Moscow, April 29, 2008 (in Russian)

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