Mikhail Leontyev

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2000, Leontyev next to Russian President Vladimir Putin (right hand)

Mikhail Vladimirovich Leontyev (Russian: Михаи́л Влади́мирович Лео́нтьев, born October 12, 1958 in Moscow) is a Russian pundit currently working on national TV Channel One. He is known for his program "Odnako" (Russian: "Однако") (Translated "However" or "Still"), irregularly appearing on air with commentaries on certain political occasions since March 1999. He is also a laureate of the "Golden pen of Russia" award and the TEFI award.


Leontyev graduated from the Department of General Economics of the Moscow Institute of National Economy in 1979, and worked in a scientific research institute up to 1985. Then he finished a college with profession "joiner-cabinetmaker", worked as unskilled labourer in Museum of Literature, was a guard at the cottage of Boris Pasternak, offered private lessons of history.

Since 1989 he began working in journalism, was a correspondent of political department of magazine Kommersant, in 1990 headed economic department of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, was assistant editor-in-chief in newspaper Business МН.

In 1993 he participated in creation of newspaper Segodnya and for some time worked as assistant editor-in-chief there. Worked on television since 1997, at first on channel TVC; in February 1999 he left TVC for Channel One.

Besides Odnako, on Channel One Leontyev also made programs "Different Time" and "Puppet Theater with Leontyev", but they were closed by the channel. Leontyev also put together a project named "Bolshaya Igra" (The Great Game) with him in close-ups. It hit the air in October 2007, on the same channel . The short series of shows dealt with key historical episodes, chiefly mirroring the relation of the West and Russia, and taking the storyline to the present day to thus show the origins of the current issues concerning Russia and the western countries.

Leontyev was awarded "Gold Pen of Russia" and nominated for TEFI-1997 (national television award).[1]

Since 2009 Leontyev is publisher and co-owner (along with Channel One) of weekly magazine with the same name Odnako.[2][3][4][5][6]

The magazine writers include:


Latvia declared Leontyev persona non grata after his sharp words about the country in 2003 interview on Riga television.[7] In 2006, the Ukrainian government banned Leontyev from visiting the country for five years, referring to his "insulting statements" towards Ukraine (denying the existence of Ukrainian national identity).[8][9]

In 2007 Leontyev has launched Ukrainian business magazine Der Spiegel-Profil (as Editor in Chief). Publisher Evgeny Dodolev ended its one-year print run for magazine, due to economic difficulties (in 2008).

Leontyev made several scandalous accusations both in his own show and in various interviews, for some of which he underwent trials. In 2001 he accused Viktor Yuschenko's wife, Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko, of influencing her husband's political decisions with the U.S. ideas, hinting that she is an agent of American government in Ukraine. Mrs. Yushchenko has won two libel cases regarding the accusations in 2002 in Ukrainian city of Kiev, but the Russian government refuses to take legal actions against Leontyev as ruled out by the Ukrainian court.[10][11]

In November 2014, Leontyev wrote an article for Channel One Russia,[12] which presented an aerial photo claiming to show a jet fighter firing a missile at Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. This refuted the view, widely held in the West, that MH17 had been shot down by a BUK missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The photo in Leontyev's article was analysed by contributors to the Bellingcat site,[13] who found it had been artificially constructed with photo manipulation software, and was not a genuine image of the incident.[14][15]

On January 14th, 2016, Leontyev became the spokesperson for Rosneft.[16]

In September 2016, Leontyev vouched for the experience of Carter Page, former foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump, both in the oil industry and as an "authoritative" expert on Russia[17]


  1. ^ "Биография Михаил Леонтьев". peoples.ru (in Russian).
  2. ^ "Новое издание". Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Михаил Леонтьев запускает новый еженедельник "Однако"". sostav.ru (in Russian).
  4. ^ "Ъ-Газета - "Первый канал" задал "Пресс код"". kommersant.ru (in Russian).
  5. ^ ""Однако" оденется в глянец - ИнтерНовости.Ру".
  6. ^ "Михаил Леонтьев будет издавать собственный общественно-политический журнал "Однако" : Новости : Накануне.RU". nakanune.ru (in Russian).
  7. ^ "Михаил Леонтьев: "В России есть спрос на реванш"". kompromat.lv (in Russian).
  8. ^ "Телеведущему Михаилу Леонтьеву запрещен въезд на Украину". lenta.ru (in Russian).
  9. ^ "Русский журналист объявлен нон-грата на Украине". ИА REGNUM (in Russian).
  10. ^ http://news.pravda.ru:8080/kuchma/2002/01/30/36309.html[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Новости NEWSru.com : Черномырдин не собирается извиняться за высказывания журналиста Леонтьева в адрес Украины". newsru.com (in Russian).
  12. ^ "За мгновения до крушения `Боинга` под Донецком - уникальный кадр в аналитической программе `Однако` - Первый канал". 1tv.ru (in Russian). 14 November 2014.
  13. ^ "bellingcat - Russian State Television Shares Fake Images of MH17 Being Attacked". bellingcat.com.
  14. ^ "MH17 photo of fighter jet released in Russia slammed". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  15. ^ "Web users debunk Russian TV's MH17 claim". BBC News.
  16. ^ "Mikhail Leontyev became the press-Secretary of "Rosneft"". News.rin.ru. January 14, 2016.
  17. ^ Ioffe, Julia (September 23, 2016). "The Mystery of Trump's Man in Russia". Politico. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

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