Foundation President

Savik Shuster

Savik Shuster is a journalist, writer, and host of extremely popular political talk shows «Freedom of Speech» and «Shuster Live» (each having millions of viewers) in Russia (2001-2004) and Ukraine (2005-2017).

Before moving to television Mr. Shuster had worked in print and radio journalism, covering wars and conflicts all over the world during the last two decades of the 20th century: in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Israel, Chad, Nicaragua, former Yugoslavia, and the former Soviet Union.

His stories were published in numerous newpapers and magazines, including Newsweek, Liberation, Der Spiegel, La Repubblica.

In 1992, Savik Shuster established the Moscow bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and worked as its chief editor until 2001.

By 1993 he ran the most efficient and credible news service in former USSR.

In 2001, Savik began to host a political TV talk show “Freedom of speech” on “NTV”, at that time the most influential TV channel in Russia. In a matter of months, the show became the most popular in the country.

In 2004, following a serious conflict with the Kremlin, his residence and work permit were not renewed and he was forced to leave Russia.

Immediately he was invited to move to Ukraine and to start a similar talk show on one of the leading TV-channels, ICTV.

For 12 years his show has been the most popular and influential in the country. In 2015 he founded his own channel, 3STV (Savik Shuster Studio), which he defined as “the first non-oligarchic channel”.

Millions of Ukrainians trusted the new channel for its independence and freedom of speech.

In October 2015, the state authorities began persecuting Savik Shuster and his channel  with accusations of fiscal fraud. Being an Italian citizen, his work permit in Ukraine was annulled by the government. For all these reasons he was forced to leave Ukraine. All of the accusations and punitive measures have since been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

In 2018 Savik Shuster published his book Freedom of Speech vs Fear and Humiliation. A Social Experiment on Live Television: the First Map of Collective Emotions of a Country. Within a few months the book became a non-fiction best seller in Ukrainian book shops.

Currently Savik Shuster and his colleagues are launching a new interdisciplinary project on exploring the impact of collective emotions on civilization.

 “…The study of collective emotions in a specific territory can tell us a great deal on the state of mind of its population. Such a study can help to determine the reasons of popular discontent and foresee violent mass protests like, for instance, the “Yellow Vest” uprising in France. Such knowledge may save lives. If our goal is to live in a free, responsible and liberal society, we must strive to measure and monitor the levels of basic collective emotions, such as hope, fear, humiliation and anger, to understand at which point their mixture may become explosive.” 

Savik Shuster, President of Open Mind Foundation