Born in 1944.
1970 — Graduated from the Faculty of History of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Candidate (1976) and Doctor (1998) of Historical Sciences.
1972–1976 — Senior editor of the State Committee on State Statistics of the USSR.
Since 1976 — at the Institute of History of the USSR (now — the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences), now — the Chief Researcher.
In 1990–2000 — Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences (RAS) on the history of the revolution in Russia (later — the Scientific Council on the history of social movements, reforms and revolutions), as well as Secretary General of the International Commission on the History of the Russian Revolution.
Since 2000, he also worked for some time as a Chief Researcher at the Institute of Russian History at the RSUH.
2002–2003 — Visiting professor at the Centre for Slavic Studies (now the Centre for Eurasian Studies) of the Hokkaido University (Sapporo).
Lives in Moscow.