June 24th, 1945, the Soviet Union celebrates victory over Nazi Germany. A victory that cost the lives of near 27 million Soviet men, women and children. The Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, takes the salute from those who saved the nation from German conquest. But for many of those who had survived the worst war in our history, this was to be the beginning of a new tragedy.
This film documents the 900 day siege of Leningrad, and how the events created heroes as well as many victims, and gave the city a taste for independence. Dr John Barber relives the city’s struggle, and explains why Stalin felt so threatened by the former capital that he purged 2,000 of its inhabitants.
Stalin was always suspicious of Russia’s former capital. Its huge cultural, scientific and economic importance, its historical role as the cradle of the 1917 Revolution, its pre-eminent position in the history of the Russian intelligentsia – all produced a dangerous spirit of independence when viewed from the Kremlin.