Born in 1962.
1985 — Graduated from the Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University.
1985–1993 — Worked at the All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI), and from 1993–2006, at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Currently works as technical translator.
Shpilkin specializes in statistics, data collection, and analysis. Since 2007 he has collected, published, and analyzed precinct-level election data and other relevant information on the federal elections in Russia. In 2007 he proposed a method for estimating the prevalence of ballot stuffing based on voter turnout histograms, and he produced the first nationwide estimates of election fraud during the 2007 and 2008 elections. He also discovered the integer percentage anomaly in the distribution of precincts by turnout.
Since then he has published on his LiveJournal blog and in various media analyses of the 2009 municipal elections in Moscow, the 2011 and 2012 federal elections, and the 2013 Moscow mayoral elections. These publications spurred civic activity around elections research and electoral observation and became one of the drivers of the 2011–2012 civic movement in Russia.
Shpilkin is the recipient of the 2012 PolitProsvet prize for electoral research from the Liberal Mission Foundation and the 2012 Advocate of Free Elections medal from the Golos Association.
Lives in Moscow.