Born in 1966 in Moscow.
Cherkasov is an engineer-physicist who graduated from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) and worked at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy.
Since 1989 — An activist of “Memorial” who has been active in the study of the history of the dissident movement.
1990 — Founding member of the Human Rights Centre within the “Memorial” Society.
In the early 1990s, Cherkasov participated in human rights missions to so called “hot spots” — Armenia and Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh), Georgia (South Ossetia) and Moldova (Transdniestria).
Since 1994 — Worked in zones of acrive armed conflict in the North Caucasus: in North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan. During the First and Second Chechen Wars, Cherkasov travelled to various combat zone on numerous occasions, gathering information and assisting the victims of the conflict. His mission also included the search for missing persons, prisoners, abducted persons and hostages.
Cherkasov is the co-author and compiler of many reports and books published by the Memorial Human Rights Centre. He is a member of the Board of the Memorial Human Rights Centre and the Board of the International Memorial Society. Cherkasov is member of the Expert Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia.
Since 2003 Cherkasov has been working as a journalist. He is the author of several hundred articles published in The Weekly Magazine, The New Times, Novaya Gazeta, Polit.ru, Grani.ru, and other publications.