Aleksandr Verkhovsky is director of the SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis that monitors ultra-nationalist activities, hate crime, hate speech in the mass media, the use and abuse of anti-extremism legislation and issues related to religion in contemporary Russian society. Aleksandr Verkhovsky graduated from the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute with a degree in applied mathematics in 1984. In 1989, became editor-in-chief of the independent samizdat newspaper Panorama in Moscow. In 1991-2002 he was vice-president of the Panorama Information and Research Center. Since 1994, Aleksandr Verkhovsky’s main area of research has been political extremism, nationalism and xenophobia in contemporary Russia and also religion and politics in contemporary Russia. He is a member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Interior. He is author or co-author of a number of books on these issues (and also on religion and politics in contemporary Russia), including: Political Extremism in Russia (1996), Political Xenophobia (1999), State Policy Towards Ultra-Nationalist Organizations (2002), The State against Ultra-Nationalism. What’s to be Done and What’s Not to be Done? (2002), Political Orthodoxy: Russian Orthodox Nationalists and Fundamentalists, 1995-2001 (2003), and many articles. Director of the SOVA Centre since 2002, he is the author of SOVA reports on the misuse of anti-extremism legislation and co-author of reports on freedom of conscience in Russia.