The Siege of Leningrad in documentary and feature films

This year on 27 January the siege of Leningrad was lifted 77 years ago in 1944. The siege was a prolonged military blockade undertaken by the Army Group North of Nazi Germany against the Soviet city of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) on the Eastern Front in World War II. The siege began on 8 September 1941, when the Wehrmacht severed the last road to the city. Although Soviet forces managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the Red Army did not lift the siege until 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. The blockade became one of the longest and most destructive sieges in world history, and it was possibly the costliest siege in history as well, due to the number of casualties. Some historians classified it as a ‘genocide’ due to the systematic starvation and intentional destruction of the city’s civilian population.

If you would like to learn more about the siege, you may watch the following documentary and feature films by following these links:

A collection of 25 films by the Russian union of writers (in Russian)
“The Most Important Thing in Life” (in Russian, Russian title: “Самое главное в жизни”)
“900 days The Myth & Reality of the Leningrad Blockade” (in English)
“Battlefield – The Siege Of Leningrad” (in English)

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A message from the Gift of Life Foundation

Winter holidays are already around the corner, and are you still wondering what present to give your friends or acquaintances? Instead of gift baskets and knick-knacks, donate to programs that help children with cancer.

– Go to the Gift of Life website
– Donate to the Festive Season Appeal
– And you will receive an electronic postcard with a story about your participation in the charity event, which you can send to friends and family or print and put under the tree 🙂

By refraining from meaningless gifts and souvenirs in favour of charity, you are making the greatest gift of all – the gift of life!

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Ludmila Perlova presents an Art exhibition BAUHAUS101+ – Monday-Tuesday, 28-29 December, 14:00-19:00

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An art exhibition dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the world-famous Staatliches Bauhaus – a German Art and Design School founded in 1919 in Weimar by architect Walter Gropius (the creator of Impington Village College buildings).

The exhibition features works of art and design inspired by the achievements of some distinguished artists who influenced Bauhaus style, such as Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. The exhibits illustrate the continuing influence of Bauhaus ideas on modern art and design.


WHEN: Monday-Tuesday, 28-29 December, 14:00-19:00

WHERE: St Augustine’s Church, 101 Richmond Rd, Cambridge, CB4 3PS
BOOKING: Book your visit in advance at

For any questions, please email Ludmila Perlova to


About Ludmila Perlova

Ludmila Perlova is a professional interior and furniture designer. She received a thorough art education including at a children’s art school, followed by a secondary art school affiliated with the Leningrad Academy of Arts and, finally, the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has been teaching art to children and adults for the last 13 years. Although her personal interests lie in portraiture and figurative art, Lyudmila teaches various techniques, including painting with oil, acrylics, watercolours and pastels, drawing, graphics and sculpture as well as collage, wool and mixed media.

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Marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and Remembrance Day with The Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society in 2020

We are delighted to inform you about the successful completion of our community project “Remembering the Second World War.” It included a range of public events and the publication of a brochure with autobiographies of 15 veterans, 20 personal stories and tributes to family members who experienced the war first-hand – during the Blitz bombings or during active service with the Royal Air Force or on the Eastern Front.

The first part (pp 3-20) of the brochure ‘Veterans of the Second World War in Britain’ was produced in May this year. It featured short autobiographies and photographs of veterans, all of whom took an active part in the Arctic Convoys.

Then we complemented the brochure with a collection of personal stories written by members of the Cambridge Russian-Speaking community which has resulted in the production of the second part entitled “Living Memories of the Second World War” (pp 21-43).

We are most grateful to all the contributors who helped to realise this publication, including the 15 veterans and their families, 13 CamRuSS members who kindly shared their family stories, Beverley Lott, who helped with proofreading, designer Maria Bestujeva and CamRuSS volunteers Yelena Karl and Ksenia Afonina who initiated and managed this project. Our special thanks to Cambridge City Council whose Community Grant VE-75 helped us to arrange printing of this publication.

We hope that you will enjoy reading these moving stories and that our thoughts and hearts will connect in remembering and paying tribute to the generation that had to face the enormous challenges of the Second World War.

Over the years of our charitable work in the UK, The Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society has had the pleasure and honour to get to know our local heroes – veterans of the Second World War, who are residing in the UK. We have organised several public events in Cambridge with Russian and British war veterans and have stayed in touch with them via letters and phone calls.

It has become a tradition for us to send cards to the veterans for VE Day. Some cards we procure in Russia, others we print locally using original designs produced by students at  Cambridge Russian School and Cambridge Russian Academy. Since 2015, every May CamRuSS members have attended the annual commemorative wreath-laying ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial in London. This event has become even more poignant since a group of Russian war veterans started coming to the UK to celebrate VE Day with their British colleagues.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the end of the Second World War. Originally we had planned to hold a range of public events. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we had to divert our activities to the virtual realm, which, apart from its apparent limitations, has helped to engage new audiences.

We recorded a special VE Day greeting by Captain Rolfe Monteith – one of the UK-based veterans (in May); organised a screening of the feature film ‘Franz+Polina’ and an online discussion with its director Mikhail Segal (in June); took part in an informal virtual meeting with the Russian veterans in Moscow who were due to come to visit us in the UK in May (in August); held an online talk on ‘Operation Barbarossa. The turning point of the Second World War’ by Dr John Barber (in September); and an evening of poetry of the Second World war with translator Maria Bloshteyn (in October). Recordings of the talks were made available to CamRuSS members.

Let us continue to stay connected.

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Russian Literature Week 2020 – 7-11 December

In 2020 Russian Literature Week by READ RUSSIA will be entirely online with a mix of live readings, presentations, documentary films and pre-recorded video talks. This year’s theme is Reading Russian Literature During Hard Times.

The live events on Zoom will feature authors and translators in discussion, and the pre-recorded talks will feature contemporary Russian authors surveying the Russian literary scene.

Please note that the Zoom events will start on time; the YouTube links are live and playing all week.

Russian Literature Week is free and open to all.


Monday, December 7, 2020

12:00 PM EST – Antony Wood “On Reading and Translating Pushkin”

Zoom invitation:

5:00 PM EST – FILM/VIDEO SCREENING: “Mayakovsky Forever”
From Russia’s Vladimir Dahl Russian State Literary Museum, based on the exhibition “Twenty Years of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Work,” installed in 1930.  Film provided courtesy of the Vladimir Dahl State Literary Museum (

Watch on YouTube here,

In Russian with English subtitles (30 mins)


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

12:00 PM EST – Donald Rayfield “Rehabilitating Leskov”

Zoom invitation:

5:00 PM EST – FILM/VIDEO SCREENING: Author and literature professor Andrei Astvatsaturov surveys today’s literary scene in Russia and speaks to emerging themes and trends among leading writers. Recorded in 2020. Courtesy of Read Russia and the Institute of Translation in Moscow.

Watch on YouTube here,


Wednesday, December 9, 2020 

11:00 AM EST – Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro “Mikhail Bakhtin, Isaiah Berlin, and the Need for Dialogue”

Zoom invitation:

12:00 PM EST – Robert Chandler “Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov among ‘Animals and Plants’”

Zoom invitation:

2:00 PM EST – Lisa Hayden and Carol Apollonio “Reading Russian Literature During Hard Times”

Zoom invitation:

5:00 PM EST – FILM/VIDEO SCREENING: Author, editor, critic, and publisher Vadim Levental tells it like it is about the Russian classics.  Recorded in 2020. Courtesy of Read Russia and the Institute of Translation in Moscow.

Watch on YouTube here,


Thursday, December 10, 2020 

12:00 PM EST – READ RUSSIA PRIZE jury members Bryan Karetnyk, Muireann Maguire, and Anastasia Tolstoy discuss the 2020 READ RUSSIA PRIZE

Zoom invitation:

5:00 PM EST – FILM/VIDEO SCREENING: Author German Sadulaev on Russian writers (and sex) and writing (bestsellers) in the 1990s and 2000s. Recorded in 2020. Courtesy of Read Russia and the Institute of Translation in Moscow.

Watch on YouTube here,


Friday, December 11, 2020

12:00 PM – Boris Dralyuk, Alex Fleming, & Maxim Osipov “Contemporary Literary & Medical Responses to the Pandemic”                                                   

Zoom invitation:

5:00 PM EST – FILM/VIDEO SCREENING: Author and translator Andrei Gelasimov – on Russian literature as superweapons and more.  Recorded in 2020. Courtesy of Read Russia and the Institute of Translation in Moscow.

Watch on YouTube here,


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In 2020 Russian Film Week, as well as the Golden Unicorn award, planned to celebrate their 5th year. Due to the global pandemic, it was decided to postpone the Fifth Russian Film Week to 2021, and hold RFW-2020 online. However, all the films submitted for this year’s award will be considered by the Jury in 2021.

Filip Perkon, Founder and General Producer of the Russian Film Week and the Golden Unicorn Awards said: “Although UK cinemas are closed and travel to the country is limited, it was important for us to hold a festival this year. Our fans still want to watch Russian films, and together with our friends from Kaspersky Lab, we decided that we should move the festival online. We will present a selection of feature films, short films and documentaries that will be available not only in England but throughout Europe. And we hope to return to our usual format in November 2021. ”

The RFW 2020 program includes eight full-length fiction films, two documentaries and 16 short films. RFW will present a variety of genres, despite the small number of films.


  1. «The Whaler Boy», dir. Philipp Yuryev – Opening Film
  2. «Kalashnikov», dir. Konstantin Buslov
  3. «Tsoy», dir. Alexey Uchitel
  4. «Ice 2», dir. Zhora Kryzhovnikov
  5. «Marathon of Wishes», dir. Darya Charusha
  6. «Deadly Illusions», dir. Oleg Assadulin
  7. «Hotel Belgrade», dir. Konstantin Statskiy
  8. «One breath», dir. Elena Khazanova– Closing Film


  1. «From Kurils with Love», dir. Taylor Rees
  2. «Brain. Evolution», dir. Yulia Kiselyeva


  1. Soup (dir. I. Sukhorukova)
  2. The Gift (dir. R. Kudoyarov)
  3. Friends (dir. T. Ivashkina)
  4. Stream (dir. A. Dianova)
  5. The Right to Life (dir. O. Koleva)
  6. 16/8  (dir. Sasha Paracels)
  7. Thank you, Coach! (dir. Nikita Tarasov)
  8. Meshes (dir. Nikolay Sadokov)
  9. It’s Said (dir. Nica Jakovleva)
  10. The Important Day (dir. Olesia Aleinikova)
  11. Sulphur (dir. Lana Vlady)
  12. Thank you! (dir. Maria Shulgina)
  13. Talent (dir. Oleg Ageychev)
  14. The Robbers Losers (dir. Andrei Bulatov)
  15. It doesn’t matter (dir. Revaz Gigineishvili)
  16. Nuartier (dir. E. Scherbakova)

RFW-2020 official trailer

Film screening online platform –

You can view the Opening and the Closing day films –

NB: Access to all screenings is FREE, except for the opening and closing films. Registration for viewing is required.

The program of short films will be available for viewing throughout the week (6-13 December). Feature films will be shown only once according to the schedule. Some films are available exclusively in the UK, others – only in Europe. Discussions with creative teams will accompany many film screenings.

In addition to screenings of new Russian films, there will be masterclasses by actor, director and producer Danila Kozlovsky, writer and playwright Dmitry Glukhovsky, actors Alexander Kuznetsov and Brian Cox.

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Кастинг в дистанционную труппу цифрового спектакля в постановке режиссера МХАТ им. Горького Сергея Глазкова

Фонд «Живая классика» приглашает детей и подростков в возрасте 14 – 20 лет, увлекающихся театром, принять участие в кастинге в дистанционную труппу цифрового спектакля, который поставит режиссер МХАТ им. Горького Сергей Глазков. Регистрация открыта с 10 по 24 ноября. Ссылка на регистрацию:

Спектакль будет поставлен по мотивам романа «Кубик Рубика и пятый битл» норвежского писателя Ханса Улава Хамрана к 10-летию Международного конкурса юных чтецов «Живая классика».

Чтобы участвовать в отборе на кастинг, необходимо записать короткое видео с кратким рассказом о себе (имя, возраст, место жительства, увлечения) и чтением отрывка из любого прозаического или поэтического произведения, выложить видео на YouTube и прикрепить ссылку на видео в регистрационную форму. Видео должно быть горизонтальное, съемка по пояс, на однотонном фоне, хронометраж – не более 3 минут.

Имена участников, отобранных на кастинг, будут объявлены 25 ноября. В связи с действующими в Великобритании ограничениями, кастинг будет проводиться по видеосвязи. Участники, отобранные по итогам кастинга, примут участие в очном мастерклассе. Проводить кастинг и мастер-класс с участниками будет писатель, драматург, руководитель театральной труппы PDT GOODGE Street, преподаватель Лондонской школы русского языка и литературы Татьяна Диттрич.

С 1 декабря начнутся онлайн-репетиции с режиссером МХАТ им. Горького Сергеем Глазковым. Премьера онлайн-спектакля состоится 20 декабря 2020 г.

Мероприятие проходит по заказу и под патронатом Министерства просвещения Российской Федерации.

Вебсайт проекта,

Куратор проекта в Великобритании – Анна Елисеева.

Email:, телефон: 07493 247742.

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Guided Tours of Cambridge

Guided Tours of Cambridge in Russian or English.

Join one of our public tours or book your own private walking tour of Cambridge. Alternatively, if you cannot come to Cambridge in person, sign up for one of our interactive virtual tours of Cambridge with a professional green-badge Cambridge tourist guide, Tanya Yurasova.
Please visit for more information and to book.

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CamRuSS Vacancy for Part-time Administrator (2020)

CamRuSS Part-time Administrator (starting from end of September 2020)

  • Deadline for applications has been extended until: Monday 14th September 2020.
  • We plan to hold online interviews during the week beginning on 21st September 2020.


The Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society (CamRuSS) is an independent charity whose charitable objective is:  To advance education for the public benefit in East Anglia by providing opportunities for members of the public to learn the Russian language and to engage in activities and events designed to enable them to develop a better understanding of the history, arts and culture of Russia.”

Every year we organise a wide variety of cultural events, such as talks, social outings, film festivals, art exhibitions and music concerts, exploring Russian art, culture, history and traditions. We aspire to build up intercultural connections, and promote mutual support and understanding. We collaborate with other local voluntary groups and organisations, who share similar interests, and support a number of community projects.

CamRuSS is run by a Board of Trustees with the support of an Organising Committee.

Job Description:

Administrative support for CamRuSS activities.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To provide assistance with planning, organising and monitoring CamRuSS events in Cambridge.
  • To maintain regular effective and efficient communications with CamRuSS members, volunteers, trustees and the wider public via email, CamRuSS website, mailings, social media.
  • To act as a point of contact/liaison for event organisers, volunteers and wider public for events.
  • To monitor income, expenses and memberships by event.
  • To provide periodic activity reports to the Board of Trustees.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience:

CamRuSS is looking for a responsible, self-disciplined and friendly team-player with a positive and proactive approach to life and work

  • Excellent communication skills (English and Russian/spoken and written)
  • Proficiency in managing social networks and websites.
  • Competence with Microsoft office and Excel.
  • Some events management experience.

Additional requirements:

  • Eligible to work in the UK.
  • Preferably Cambridge-based.
  • References from previous employers or business contacts.

Experience working in a charitable/voluntary sector or understanding the specifics of working for a charitable organisation.

Remuneration and benefits:

  • Contract – 12 months with potential for extension.
  • Flexible working – expected 10-15 hours/week.
  • Home-based.
  • Rate – £9/hour.
  • Free entry to CamRuSS event

How to apply:
Please send your CV (in English) and a short covering letter (in Russian) to:

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Happy VE Day 2020

The years of 1939-1945 became the most tragic in the history of mankind. The Second World War took the lives of over 70 million people, with the death toll of civilians exceeding those of combatants.

There are very few still living witnesses of those days. We can hardly imagine what they had to confront and endure in wartime. Their experiences and wisdom are of great value to us, especially during these challenging times.

We are delighted to be able to share this VE Day personal greeting by one of the British-Canadian veterans Capt. Rolfe Monteith which was recorded with the assistance of CamRuSS.








To mark this special anniversary, our team has created a collection of short biographies of our local heroes – veterans of the Second World War, who are living in the UK. We would like to take this opportunity to greet them on this special day and thank them for their contribution and support of this project.

We would like to take this initiative further and invite you to share biographies of your family members and friends who participated in the war, so that we can create a collective commemoration brochure for Remembrance Day. Please send a short bio (max 400 words) with photographs to:

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