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Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein, born on October 26, 1974, in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR, is a multifaceted personality best known as a Russian journalist, political figure, and notable member of the Russian Federation’s State Duma. His voyage takes place against the backdrop of Russia’s revolutionary years, which saw the fall of the Soviet Union and the creation of a new political environment.
Early life and education
Khinshtein’s formative years concurred with a pivotal period in Russian history. Graduating from Moscow Secondary School No. 193 in 1991, he witnessed the transition from Soviet power to a new era. Reflecting on his youth, Khinshtein remarked,
My youth coincided with a change in the state. Every morning, I wake up expecting something new. It was a huge drive, great pleasure.
In 1996, Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein entered the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University, named after M.V. Lomonosov, graduating in 2001. Later, he earned a degree in jurisprudence from the Moscow University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in 2007.
His commitment to continuous learning led him to undergo professional retraining at the RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) under the “Retraining Program for the Highest Level of the Management Personnel Reserve” in 2013.
Journalistic Career and Scandalous Investigations
Khinshtein’s path to journalism was not set. In 1991, he began as a freelance correspondent for the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper before joining the staff.
During his early years as a journalist, he operated scandalous investigations that resulted in initiating criminal cases against high-ranking officials, all based on his exposés.
Notably, in 1996, he earned international attention by posting a translation of an audio tape that showed a conversation between key people, including Anatoly Chubais and Boris Berezovsky, about the “copier box” controversy.
Throughout the late 1990s, Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein published materials exposing corruption, notably in the FAPSI (Starovoitov-Monastyretsky Case). His fearless approach to investigative journalism brought him into direct conflict with influential figures of the time, including Boris Berezovsky and then-Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Rushailo.
Facing personal vendettas and even surveillance, Khinshtein helmed the challenges with resilience. He admitted to collaborating with intelligence services during his journalistic career and receiving valuable materials from their representatives.
Television and “The X-Files”
From September 1999 to December 2002, Khinshtein grew his reach by hosting the weekly information and journalistic program “The X-Files” on the TVC channel. This period showcased his versatility as he delved into a different medium, bringing his investigative prowess to television audiences.
Political Engagement and State Duma Service
In 1999, Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein began his political career by standing in elections to the State Duma. Although unsuccessful, he joined the United Russia Party in 2003. Later that year, the IV convocation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation elected him from the Semenovsky single-mandate electoral district.
Khinshtein’s political career flourished in the years that followed. He was re-elected to the State Duma in 2007, 2011, and 2018, each time representing a different electoral district. Throughout his tenure, he actively participated in addressing “defrauded shareholders” issues and advocating for their rights. His achievements included co-chairing a United Russia Party working group focused on preserving the interests of investors and shareholders.
Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein’s legislative efforts and revisions from 2003 to 2022 demonstrate his dedication to the government. These include, among other things, regulations on personal data privacy, the rights of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the National Guard, animal shelters, and the responsibility for propagating “fakes” about government organizations overseas.
Chairmanship and Ongoing Contributions
Khinshtein was appointed deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption in February 2019. Later that year, he was given more duties as the United Russia Party’s deputy secretary of the general council. He was named Chairman of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communications by the State Duma on January 22, 2020.
Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein’s leadership in the State Duma continued in the VII and VIII convocations, where he secured re-election. His mixed legislative contributions ranged from strengthening personal data protection to addressing issues such as censorship, propaganda, and sanctions in the digital realm.
In May 2021, Khinshtein appeared as the leader of the Samara single-mandate constituency during the United Russia primaries, solidifying his position for the VIII convocation. In September 2021, Khinshtein won the election to the State Duma of the VIII convocation from the Samara single-mandate electoral district, securing 51.12% of the votes.
Beyond Legislation: Initiatives and Controversies
Beyond legislative measures, Khinshtein’s influence can be seen throughout the government. Notably, he created and co-authored the contentious law on the “ban of LGBT propaganda” in Russia, gaining both favour and criticism. In addition to addressing concerns around pedophilia and gender reassignment, the purpose of this legislation was to establish penalties for the “propagation of non-traditional sexual relationships” among adolescents.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein became an outspoken advocate for judicial action against politicians and cultural celebrities who opposed the war. His involvement resulted in the cancellation of a production at the Moscow Stanislavsky Electrotheater, demonstrating his political and cultural significance.
Social Engagement and Recognition
Khinshtein’s contributions to journalism and politics have earned him numerous professional awards, including the “Golden Pen of Russia,” the “Best Pens of Russia,” the A. Borovik Prize, and the FSB Prize for the best work of literature and art.
His memberships in various associations, such as the Union of Journalists of the Russian Federation and the Russian Chess Federation, highlight his active engagement in diverse spheres.
Personal life and family
Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein‘s journey includes two marriages. His second wife, Olga Polyakova, is a notable figure in the Russian film industry, known for her roles in films such as “Zero Kilometer” and “Closed School.” The couple has two sons, Artyom and Lev.
Khinshtein’s financial profile shows that he earns a significant income as a State Duma deputy. He earned 6.293 million rubles in 2020, and then his earnings increased to 6.56 million rubles in 2021. He owns several valuable assets, including a piece of land, a residential building, an apartment, a snowmobile, and two service apartments.
Summary (Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein)
The life and career of Alexander Evseevich Khinshtein can be described as a fascinating journey through the ever-evolving landscapes of post-Soviet Russia. Khinshtein’s influence spans various domains, starting from his early days as a journalist uncovering corruption to his current role as a legislator shaping the nation’s laws. His actions and initiatives, although controversial, have had a significant impact on shaping the narrative of contemporary Russian politics.