A Small, Stubborn Town

by Andrew Harding

£9.99

History; Biography; Criticism

Paperback

9781804185025

Published by Bonnier Books Ltd

Published February 2024

Life, death and defiance in Ukraine

The Russians are invading. But the locals have a plan.

It’s March 2022 and Russian tanks are roaring across the vast, snow-dusted fields of Ukraine. Their destination: Voznesensk, a town with a small bridge that could change the course of the war.

The heavily-armed Russians are expecting an easy fight – or no fight at all. After all, Voznesensk is a quiet farming town, full of pensioners. But the locals appear to have other ideas.

Svetlana, a grandmother with arthritis, reacts in fury when Russian troops turn her cottage into their blood-soaked headquarters. Valentin, a quick-talking lawyer, joins the town’s ‘Dads Army’ defenders, crouching in a trench with an AK47. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Sergei grabs a Molotov cocktail and lies in wait for Russian tanks as they push towards Dead Water Bridge.

The odds are terrible. But a plan is emerging, and there’s a chance it could save not just Voznesensk, but the rest of southern Ukraine. Meanwhile, inside the tanks, an inner battle rages. As Russian officer Igor Rudenko prepares to invade, he has a secret. He is Ukrainian himself.

A gripping work of reportage that tells the story of a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s war, this is a real-life thriller about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with resilience, humour and ingenuity.

‘[Andrew Harding is] one of our most gifted and sensitive journalists’ – Jon Snow

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