Putin consolidating power

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Her father, Sasha, was a computer scientist, her mother, Yolochka, a translator and literary critic.In 1981, when Masha was 14, the family joined the growing exodus of Russian Jews, emigrating to America and settling in Boston.

The novelty matryoshka dolls that line the souvenir stalls around Moscow’s Red Square, along with the St Basil’s snow domes and the fake Red Army badges, provide a salutary insight into the ephemeral nature of fame and power.In her years as a journalist, Gessen herself has been threatened, intimidated and burgled.I meet her in a smart coffee shop near her home in central Moscow.After starting and abandoning a degree in architecture, Gessen became a writer.In 1991, as the Soviet Union was breaking up, she returned to Russia on a magazine assignment, reporting on the country’s fledgling women’s movement.

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