Biography

SERGEY YASTRZHEMBSKIY

Born Dec. 4, 1953 in Moscow, Russia

Employment History
In 1976 graduates from the International Law Faculty of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), in 1979 - graduate of the Institute of the international labor movement USSR. Candidate of historical sciences.

From 1979 to 1981 - Associate Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences under the CPSU Central Committee.

From 1981 to 1989 - Senior researcher, editorial adviser, deputy executive secretary, “Problems of Peace and Socialism” magazine (Prague, Czechoslovakia).

From 1989 to 1990 - Senior researcher, International Department Central Committee of the CPSU.

From 1990 to 1991 - Deputy editor-in-chief, “Megapolis” magazine.

From 1991 to 1992 - Editor-in-chief, "VIP" magazine; Deputy Director General of the International Fund for Social and Political Studies (Gorbachev Foundation).

From April 1992 to 1993 - Director of Information and Press Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

From 1993 to November 1996 - Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to the Slovak Republic.

August 1996 to September 1998 - Spokesman for President Boris Yeltsin.

March 1997 to September 1998 - Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia - Spokesman for the President of Russia.

November 1998 to December 1999 – Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Moscow.

June 2000 to 2004 - Aide to President Vladimir Putin.

March 2004 to May 2008 - Presidential Aide and Special Representative for the President for Issues of the Development of Relations with the EU.

In 2008 Yastrzhembskiy establishes “YastrebFilm” company, dealing with the production of a documentary series entitled “Beyond the Passage of Time” which aims at compiling a “Red Book” of African peoples.

In 2011, the “YastrebFilm” company explores new destinations and starts making documentary films about other countries and cities all around the world, in an attempt to show well-known travel & adventure spots in a new light.

January 2011 – Yastrzhembskiy launches on the “Rossia-2” TV channel his author’s program called “The Magic of Adventure” - an ethnographic and cultural TV project on unusual travel routes, indigenous peoples and disappearing traditions.

Full length film “Africa. Blood and Beauty” awards the “Golden Eagle Prize” by the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia in nomination “The Best documentary film of 2013”.

In 2013 the Italian publishing house “SKIRA" released an album of Sergey Yastrzhembskiy: Patriarchal Africa. The Last Sunrise. Photo-Chronicle of the Vanishing Life (SKIRA. Milano, 2013)

In 2014 the Russian publishing house "Children's Literature" released a book of story tales "Descendants of the Pale Fox. Tales of the peoples of Africa" based on the vanishing legends and stories of the African tribes, collected during numerous expeditions.

From 2008 to 2016 the Yastrebfilm studio has produced more than 60 documentary films, many of which participated and won national and international festivals; where bought by TV channels of more than 10 countries around the world.

In 2016 Sergey released the investigation documentary “Ivory. A Crime Story” about the causes and consequences of an unprecedented demand for ivory after 3 years of shooting in 30 countries with over 250 hours of raw material. His documentary work has led him to make films defending peoples, animals and traditions threatened by the modern world, including shamans in northern Siberia or the practice of Voodoo across Africa. Of all the causes for which he has fought, the illegal ivory trade and the massacres that ravage the elephant population is perhaps his deepest concern. He feels it is his duty to urgently bring to public light this global scale scandal before it is too late.

In May 2016 IVORY. A CRIME STORY won Best Feature Documentary award at the 7th New York City International Film Festival. In June 2016 the film was premiered in Russia during the 38 Moscow International Film Festival. 

On September 25, 2016 Sergey Yastrzhembskiy won three awards at the Views of the World Film & Music Festival in Montreal: "Africa: Blood and Beauty" was awarded Best Documentary prize, and for "Ivory. A Crime Story", which was the closing film of the festival, Yastrzhembskiy got Best Director Award and Special Prize of the jury “For humanism in cinema art”.

On January 27, 2017 "Ivory. A Crime Story" won the Golden Eagle Award 2016 of the National Academy of Picture Arts and Science of Russia as the Best Documentary Film.


Order of Courage (Russia); Order of “Merit for the Fatherland” (Russia, 4th class); Order of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Prince Daniel of Moscow (Russia); Order of Merit (the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in the degree of Commander); Order of Isabella of Castile (Spain, in the degree of Commander); National Order of the Legion of Honour (France); the Order of the White Double Cross (Slovak Republic); the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, in the degree of Commander, National prize for public relations "Silver Archer" (1997 and 2003 ); Annual national award RBC " Person of the Year of 2003, International Biographical Centre (Cambridge) - Top 100 Commucators of the World 2006 award in the field of international politics and communications.

Has the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation.

Speaks French, English, Slovak, Portuguese and Italian.