Stalin and The Betrayal of Leningrad

The 900-day siege of Leningrad created heroes as well as 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.

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