Michel Krielaars studied modern history at the University of Amsterdam and specialized in Russian history. He was an editor of Ruslandbulletin and Eastern Europe and Russia specialist with TV shows NOS Laat and Nova. Between 2007 and 2012, he was Moscow correspondent for NRC Handelsblad, the newspaper where he became head of the Books supplement in 2012. Krielaars wrote a number of novels, such as Afkomst (2002) and Vanillevla met frambozen (2005), and together with Slavist Hans Driessen edited the collection Ooggetuigen van de Russische geschiedenis in meer dan honderd reportages (2007). In 2014 he won the Bob den Uyl Prize for Het brilletje van Tsjechov.