Joshua Yaffa

Joshua Yaffa

Formal First Name

Joshua Yaffa is a Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, who recently has been traveling throughout the Ukraine warzone reporting on the Russian invasion. Yaffa is the author of “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin's Russia,” which was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of the best books of the year by NPR and Kirkus Reviews. He has also written for the Economist, The New York Times, National Geographic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New Republic, and Foreign Affairs, where he was also an associate editor. Previously, Yaffa was a visiting scholar at the Harriman Institute and taught at the journalism school for several years. He has been a fellow at the New America foundation, a finalist for the Livingston Award, and a grantee of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. He has received numerous awards throughout his writing career, including fellowships from the New America Foundation and the American Academy in Berlin.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • Yaffa met a variety of Russians who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system.

  • He profiles Russians from institutions such as the Bolshoi and Channel 1, from the major cities, and from regions such as Chechnya.

  • He profiles the Urals, including an Orthodox priest at war with the church hierarchy and a Chechen humanitarian who turns a blind eye to persecutions.

  • In this book, Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the nature of modern authoritarianism.