Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

WATCH: Masha Gessen Says We Face Nuclear Holocaust

Russian-American Jewish journalist Masha Gessen gave dire advice Wednesday on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”

Asked, “what is the recipe for successfully resisting autocracy,” Gessen said, “I had to flee my country. Most efforts to successfully resist that I know of failed.”

Gessen was born in Moscow to a Jewish family. She moved to the United States as a teen and later returned to Russia to work as a reporter. Gessen, who is lesbian, left Russia after she faced threats in 2013 for starting a protest movement against draconian anti-gay laws. She is the author of several books, most recently “Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region.”

Asked by Bee about her fears for a Donald Trump administration, Gessen said “my biggest worry is a nuclear holocaust. If miraculously we avoid that — then [Trump] is certain to do irreparable damage to the environment that will make survival of the human species impossible.”

Gessen predicted Trump would lift sanctions on Russia, ban certain newspaper reporters from the White House, “start thinking about wars,” and emulate Putin’s habit of holding one press conference a year.

She claimed that if cities resist federal efforts to deport illegal immigrants, Trump would likely call on Americans to report on them to the government.

“There’s a Russian joke,” she added. “We thought we had hit rock bottom, and then someone knocked from below.”

Gessen said her recipe “is to continue panicking. To keep saying this is not normal.”




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.