Pavel Astakhov (Павел Алексеевич Астахов) was born September 8, 1966 in Moscow. Before taking up the role of Children’s Rights Ombudsman in December 2009, he earned a strong reputation as a lawyer, representing some of Russia’s most high profile public figures.
Astakhov graduated from the law faculty of the Dzerzhinsky KGB School in Moscow in 1991, and immediately began practicing law. In 1994 he became a member of the Moscow Bar. He set up his own firm in 1994, which later became known as “Pavel Astakhov Lawyers Board.”
Astakhov specializes in business reputation protection and settling international commercial disputes as well as matters of International and Constitutional law. He has represented a number of high profile clinets in Russia including American spy suspect Edmond Pope, pop singer Alla Pugachova, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, the Kommersant Publishing House and descendants of the Romanov dynasty.
In 2003 Astakhov became the host of Chas Suda (Court Hour) which aired on the Ren-TV channel. The show was enormously popular and Astakhov set up a production company, Pravo TV, to make further programs with a legal theme. He is also a prolific author, writing about his experiences in the Moscow legal system, as well as producing a series of novels, which feature lawyer protaganists.
Astakhov was named Children’s Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation by presidential decree on December 30, 2009. During his time as ombudsman he has raised awareness of young mothers facing prison terms, the welfare of Russian children adopted by American families, as well as Robert Rantala, the son of a Russian mother and Finnish father, who was taken into care in Finland in 2010.
Astakhov is married and has three sons. He speaks Swedish, Spanish, French and English as well as Russian.
© Russia Profile, 2011