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Joseph Stalin: The Last Bolshevik

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 LW

By Mike Walker

In June 1941, when news came through that the Nazis had taken Minsk, 300 miles into Soviet territory, Joseph Stalin retired to his dacha. And there he stayed for three days - refusing to answer the telephone or to see anyone.

What was he doing, at a time when his country needed him most? Had he suffered a mental breakdown? Was he unable to face up to his gross miscalculation that Hitler would not start a war on two fronts? Or did he fear arrest? And was this an act of cunning, to test the loyalty of his inner circle?

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars continues with the story of Joseph Stalin and the invasion of the Soviet Union.

The guitarist was Colin Guthrie.

Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko. Show less




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