Journalist Masha Gessen believes that the Russian government is waiting for the international spotlight of the Winter Olympics to pass before launching a new wave of attacks against the LGBT community there.

Gessen, whose new book about Pussy Riot, Words Will Beak Cement, was released this week, said she, her partner and their children fled Russia to escape the crackdown.

“I lived in Russia full time for the last 20 years and I've always been out,” Gessen told Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “So yes, I've been able to be out. I've been out to my employers; I've been out publicly; I've been one of those people that are invited to every talk show that's ever devoted to LGBT issues, which were never so heated as they were in the last year.”

“One of the pernicious things about what's going on in Russia is that there are few people who are as publicly out as I was, but [LGBT people] are generally comfortable, or have been comfortable until recently. So they don't have a closet to hide in, especially if they have kids. Often their pediatrician knows, their schoolteachers know, their neighbors know. What are they supposed to do? How are they supposed to suddenly un-come out and prevent social services from coming after their kids?”

Gessen said she decided to immigrate to New York not because of anti-gay laws approved last year but to avoid a second wave of attacks that she believes will take place after the international spotlight of the Sochi Games has passed.

“I left in time to not be there after the Olympics. I'm not afraid of what's going to happen during the Olympic Games, but I think there will be a severe crackdown after the games are over,' she said.