In 1989, as East Germany collapsed around him, a KGB spy in Dresden named Vladimir Putin came to some hard conclusions that would later inform his bellicose geopolitics.
A Russian-American journalist, Gessen has written for The New Republic and Slate, among others. In an excerpt from her new book, The Man Without a Face, she details the thuggish ways of a young Vladimir Putin.
The Pussy Riot trial showed how far Russia is traveling backward. Masha Gessen on the 17th-century court.