A journalist, publisher, and founder of several projects aimed at developing civil activism and spreading democratic values in Russia, Parkhomenko first earned his reputation as a reporter, commentator and editorialist at popular daily newspapers 'Nezavisimaya Gazeta' ('Independent Newspaper') and 'Segodnya' ('Today') in the early 90s. In 1995 he became editor-in-chief of 'Itogi' ('Summing Up'), Russia's first current affairs weekly.
Parkhomenko was instrumental in organizing mass rallies in Moscow in Winter 2011 – Spring 2012. In 2012 he was elected to the Russian Opposition Coordination Council, and organized the 'Vse v sud!' ('Go to court!') civil campaign helping people to file lawsuits against widespread election rigging in 2011 parliamentary and 2012 presidential elections. In 2013 he co-founded 'Dissernet' ('DissertationWeb'), a network dedicated to unearthing and fighting abuses of Russian science and education systems.
Parkhomenko is the winner of several professional awards for journalism and publishing activities, including the Russian Government Award for Printed Media (2011), the 'Golden Pen of Russia' Prize given by Russian Journalists Union (2014), and is a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Letters (France, 2008).
Alena V. Ledeneva is Professor of Politics and Society at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, UK. She studied Economics at the NovosibirskStateUniversity (1986) and Social and Political Theory at the University of Cambridge (NewnhamCollege, M.Phil.1992; Ph.D.1996). She’s been a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at New Hall College at Cambridge in 1996-1999; a Senior Fellow at the Davis Center, Harvard University (2005); a Simon Professor at the University of Manchester (2006), a Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris (2010). She authored a number of books including How Russia Really Works (Cornell University Press, 2006) and Russia’s Economy of Favours (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and numerous articles. Her expertise is on Russia and global affairs, global governance and corruption; informal economy; economic crime; informal practices in corporate governance; role of networks and patron-client relationships. Her new book is Can Russia Modernise? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2013)