Novaya Gazeta represents a continuation of that encounter. Gorbachev uses it to fight for his life's work, and to ensure that at least some vestige of glasnost, openness and democracy is retained in the Putin era. Gorbachev, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, once donated $300,000 (€215,000) from his book royalties to the Novaya editors so that they could buy computers. He sits in his office today, a portrait of his late wife Raisa on the wall behind him. She too had a special relationship with the paper: In the 1990s, she gave the editorial staff its first mobile phone.
And Lebedev? He is still capable of playing the impudent anarchist today, just as he once did at the Soviet Embassy in London.
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan