Timothy Phillips is the author of Beslan: The Tragedy of School No. 1 (Granta 2008). He grew up in Northern Ireland and now lives in London. He holds a doctorate in Russian from Oxford University and has written and spoken widely on British and Russian history. His book, The Secret Twenties: British Intelligence, the Russians and the Jazz Age, was published by Granta in 2017. The Curtain and the Wall will be published by Granta in 2022.