The fascinating story of the young women who served as Soviet snipers during the Second World War
Dr Lyuba Vinogradova was born in Moscow in 1973. After graduating from the Moscow Agricultural Academy with a PhD in microbiology, she took a second degree in foreign languages. In 1995 she was introduced to Antony Beevor and helped him research Stalingrad. Since then she has worked on many other research projects, and is the co-author (together with Beevor) of A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army. Her book about Russian women fighter pilots, Defending the Motherland, a companion volume to this, was published in 2015, with an introduction by Antony Beevor
Well written, engaging and enlightening. — Roger Moorhouse, The Times.
Revelatory and gripping. Deftly weaving together the personal - untold - stories of those Russian women who fought as frontline snipers, the author provides a chilling but moving insight into the realities of a brutal struggle. — Jonathan Dimbleby
A riveting study of individuals who saw and did things no woman or man should ever have to . . . Vinogradova is clearly enthralled, if not enraptured, by her subjects. — Jonathan O'Brien, Sunday Business Post.
Lyuba Vinogradova has written an impressive book, and drawing on letters, diaries and interviews with doughty survivors, she has woven a powerful and moving account of a people at war and of women rising up to take arms, free their country - and, paradoxically, assert their common humanity — Eamon Delaney, Irish Independent
A detailed and vividly immediate account. — Lucy Hughes-Hallett, New Statesman
Describes in detail how hardened Soviet female soldiers became ruthless crack shots behind enemy lines on the bitter Eastern Front. — Irish Independent Books of the Year
Lyuba Vinogradova is a historian with a writer's dramatic eye. By personally interviewing many of the Russian women who as teenagers during WW2 took up arms to defend the motherland, her story becomes undeniably poignant and powerful — Martin Cruz Smith