Andrei Kovalev is a historian by training and a former staff member of the Institute of USA and Canada of the USSR Academy of Sciences and of the Diplomatic Academy. The son of distinguished Soviet diplomat Anatoly Kovalev, Andrei Kovalev worked at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Gorbachev era under Eduard Shevardnadze. Subsequently, he went on to work as a member of the secretariat of President Mikhail Gorbachev. After Gorbachev’s fall from power, Andrei Kovalev served as a member of the secretariat of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and later he worked at the Russian embassy in Belgium before returning to Russia to serve on the staff of the Federal Human Rights Ombudsman, Vladmir Lukin.

During his time at the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Kovalev was engaged in what was essentially the work of breaking down the totalitarian system through abolishing the repressive use of psychiatry, the freeing of political prisoners, and the ‘pushing through’ of a number of path-breaking laws, including those regulating foreign travel and religious freedom.

Andrei Kovalev is the author of France at the Crossroads of World Politics’ [in Russian] (Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, Moscow, 1983), A Witness from Behind the Scenes of Russian Politics [in Russian] (Ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2012) and Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin (Potomac Books, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2017) and a number of articles in the journals Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn’Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniyaSShA: rkonomika, politika, ideologiyaObozrevatel, as well as the newspapers IzvestiyaNovaya gazetaKomsomolskaya Pravda. He now lives in Brussels.

You can hear a podcast with Andrei Kovalev here.