About Mark Galeotti

MG-Riga-December2017-3I specialise in fairly murky and morally-dubious subjects: modern Russian history and security affairs and transnational and organised crime of both past and present. I also have the In Moscow’s Shadows podcast.

Educated at Robinson College, Cambridge (where I read for my MA history) and the London School of Economics (PhD in the department of government), I was based at Keele 1991-2008, becoming head of the History department before moving to New York University in January 2009, where I was Clinical Professor in Global Affairs at the Center for Global Affairs of the NYU School of Professional Studies until September 2016. I then moved, via a time in Moscow, to the Czech Republic. There I become a Senior Researcher and head of the Centre for European Security at the Institute for International Relations Prague. After being a 2018-19 Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in Florence, I returned to London.

I am currently the director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence, and also an honorary professor at UCL SSEES. In addition, I am a senior associate fellow with the Royal United Services Institute as well as a non-resident senior fellow at the IIR and the Middle East Institute’s Frontier Europe Initiative.

I have also spent time attached to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as an adviser on Russian foreign and security policy (1996-97), visiting professor in public security at the School of Criminal Justice , Rutgers–Newark, USA (2005-6), a regular visiting professor at MGIMO (Moscow) and Charles University (Prague), and a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. While at Keele, I was also director of the Organised Russian & Eurasian Crime Research Unit (ORECRU), the only such specialised centre in Europe.

My most recent published books include A Short History of Russia (Ebury 2021), We Need To Talk About Putin (Ebury, 2019), Russian Political War: moving beyond the hybrid (Routledge, 2019), The Vory: Russia’s super mafia (Yale University Press, 2018), and a range of Osprey books.

I am now working on a number of projects, including works on non-kinetic warfare, and on Russia’s ‘spookocracy.’ I also have a very long-term project, Criminal World, a monograph looking at the evolution of organised crime from the Mediterranean pirates and bandits of antiquity to today’s gangs.

Founding editor of the journal Global Crime (formerly Transnational Organized Crime ), I was the European Editor of Low-Intensity Conflict & Law Enforcement , I am also a member of the editorial boards of Crime & Justice International and The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies. I am a Contributing Editor for IntelliNews Business New Europe, and a regular columnist for Raam op Rusland.

I am also on the international advisory board of the Andrei Sakharov Research Centre for Democratic Development at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, and the Las Vegas Mob Museum (more formally, the National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement).

I tweet on Russian and criminal affairs as @MarkGaleotti.

— Mark Galeotti

(updated October 2020)

Leave a comment


  1. Very impressed by your work here, stumbled on it while putting together a post for my blog. With your permission I’d like to use it. It came from your post about thoughts about Moscow. It was your last paragraph that started with: But for all that, Moscow is more liveable now than ever. Thank you for your response.

    • Mark Galeotti

       /  July 4, 2013

      Of course; do please credit and link back to the original, but by all means use what you will. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Any thoughts whether Russia might use ‘humanitarian convoys’ in a ‘non-linear’ way to support the rebels? I was under the impression that the very first step in humanitarian aid to a city under siege would be to evacuate the non-combatants, not send convoys inside. Thanks again for your very prescient analysis.

  3. I just read your article, The Russian Dossier how Russia helped America break itself, and found your analysis vital and essential to clear the current Washington obsession. It needs much greater exposure in the US especially the wonky think tanks and Georgetown dinner clubs. Thank you for clearing up so much misunderstanding and lies that color the current debate over Russia’s activities around the world especially the US.

  4. My Spiffy Goods

     /  January 2, 2021

    Love your YouTube posts but isnt responsibility for mass murder – the 1999 bombings started on 4th September and stopped on 23rd September 1999 when FSB men were arrested in Ryazan – more likely a motive for Patrushev to be deeply scary rather than say belief that Miss Albright’s dreams revealed plans to split up Russia to extract resources ?
    You will know more than I about those events. But if the bombs were planted by FSB then either Putin and Patrushev are socio/psychopaths, or they need to justify in their heads every morning why they killed 300 fellow Russians in their beds. Both these lead to massive implications for the future of Russia-West relations – that there will be no stopping or lessening of Russia’s current trajectory while they are in power and we need to face up to this . Maybe Im wrong and the last bomb was an exercise using sugar bags. happy to be enlightened.

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