Episode 11: The Siege of Leningrad

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Hannah Henderson

St Petersburg darkest times

St Petersburg’s haunting Memorial to the Defenders of Leningrad recalls the dreadful 900 day long blockade of the city by German troops during the Second World War. Supplies to the city were so ruthlessly cut off that the population was starved and 800,000 people lost their lives. This episode provides a little history, some extracts from the diary of teenager Lena Mukhina who lived through it and – against all odds – survived, and an account of the day in August 1942 when the defiant remaining musicians from what had been the Leningrad Radio Orchestra staged an outdoor concert which was broadcast across the city. Finally, there are some details about the monument itself.


More information about St Petersburg coming soon.

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Links & Reading

Useful websites for tourists
St Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau
St Petersburg.Com (Tourist Information)

2 guidebooks to St Petersburg
Eyewitness Travel Guide to St Petersburg
Lonely Planet Guide to St Petersburg

Travel Book
Among the Russians by Colin Thubron

Russian History, a Very Short Introduction by Geoffrey Hosking
The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport

Peter the Great by Lindsey Hughes
Peter the Great by Derek Wilson
Catherine the Great by Simon Dixon
Catherine the Great by Robert K Massie
Rasputin by Frances Welch
Four Sisters by Helen Rappaport (the 4 daughters of Czar Nicholas II)
The Diary of Lena Mukhina (A diary of the Siege of Leningrad)

Art and Culture
A Short Life of Pushkin by Robert Chandler
Nijinsky by Lucy Moore
Rudolf Nuryev The Life by Julie Kavanagh
Anna of all the Russias The Life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein

St Petersburg A Traveller’s Companion by Laurence Kelly
City Pick St Petersburg edited by Heather Reyes
Literary St Petersburg by Elaine Blair

Novels set in St Petersburg
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov