As news of the war in Ukraine proliferated Western news cycles, what information reached Russians and how? Masha Gessen, distinguished writer in residence, spoke with Ezra Klein on the Ezra Klein Show
about the information vacuum experienced by Russians, Vladimir Putin’s historical conception of himself, and how the sanctions deployed by the United States and others may not, ultimately, sway Putin’s current course of action. “The way that the narrative of sanctions works is it matches the working definition of insanity,” Gessen says. “Sanctions are the thing that never works, that the United States and other Western countries try over and over again expecting a different outcome.” In a wide-ranging conversation, Gessen outlined what they see as the likeliest paths forward for the war and its global implications.