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Russia's War, Blood Upon the Snow: The History of the Stalin Years (1924-1953) (1997)

Nigel Hawthorne , Victor Lisakovitch , Ilia Gootman  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Russia's War, Blood Upon the Snow: The History of the Stalin Years (1924-1953) + Battlefield Russia: The Eastern Front! 3 DVD Set!
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nigel Hawthorne
  • Directors: Victor Lisakovitch, Ilia Gootman, Igor Grigoriev, Igor Gelaine, Tengiz Semenov
  • Producers: Judith De Paul, Alexander Surikov
  • Format: Box set, Color, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: E1 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 520 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Russia's War, Blood Upon the Snow: The History of the Stalin Years (1924-1953)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

“There has never been as vivid or terrifying an account of the Soviet people’s ordeal.” -Newsday

Russia’s War is an important and in-depth account of the nation’s history throughout the period of Joseph Stalin’s rule (1924-53). Told in ten parts, this astonishing documentary reveals eyewitness stories, archival photography, documents and footage, and gives a remarkable insight what led to the death of sixty-five million Soviets during Stalin’s reign of terror.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills in Many Blanks September 22, 2009
I saw this series (10-parts) back in 2002 on History International. It is, without a doubt, the best series on World War II's "Front of Decision." Not only does it cover all of the major battles that punctuated this struggle, it delves into issues that are ignored in more cursory treatments. For example, the NKVD's "blocking forces" are discussed at some length--we're even treated to interviews with NKVD veterans who shot recalcitrant officers; it covers Germany's administration of the occupied territories and the privations visited upon the civilian population--the Holocaust among these "difficulties;" and we learn about the partisan war--not just fighting by pro-Soviet partisans, but Ukrainian and Polish freedom fighters--some of these conflicts persisted until 1947.

If you're interested in history and want an excellent treatment of humanity's most destructive undertaking (to date), I highly recommend this DVD.
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117 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding documentary-- the best I've seen November 11, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is an astounding 5-volume set of video that made me wonder why this history is not more well known in the U.S. as it appears the soviets lost up to 40 people for every single American loss in WWII. Volume 3 has an hour-long documentary on the total German obliteration of Stalingrad and the wintry turn of events that led to the destruction of the entire German army that found itself eventually surrounded within Stalingrad. This segment left me wondering why a single battle that appears to have had more casualties than the total casualty loss among the U.S. and British during the entire war gets so little attention in American schools. Also extraordinarily notable are the sections on the siege and starvation of millions in Leningrad, the arrest, trial and execution of many (most?) soviet military officers before the war by Stalin, the mass exterminations at Babi Yar, the virtual civil war between the nationalist, anti-Stalinist partisans and soviet partisans in the Ukraine (all the while both groups were fighting Germans), and the interviews with soviet soldiers whose job it was to shoot fleeing soviet soldiers at the front.
This film is an outstanding choice for anyone interested in history.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is a massive and extremely well integrated series of documentaries that exhaustively depicts, explains, and examines the nature of the Soviet society at the time of the great patriotic struggle (as they called it) against the Nazi forces that invaded Russia during World War Two. It finds its beginnings in the post-revolutionary struggles of the Russian civil war, and the Russian resolve to be better prepared for the next inevitable invasion from the west which communist doctrine taught them to always expect. As a consequence the Russians painstakingly and consistently rebuilt their forces and manufactured arms and armaments to prepare for that terrible prospect. Of course, they also sabotaged their own interests along the way, in a story that one has to know the Russian mindset well to fully appreciate.
Yet the series does much more than give us a skeletal overview of the nature of Russian preparedness and the eventual invasion by the Wehrmacht in operation Barbarossa in June of 1941; it puts all of it in an excellent historical context by showing the nature of Soviet internal repression under the brutal and brazenly paranoid policies of Joseph Stalin, who systematically purged anyone of consequence from the upper echelons of the military during the years just preceding the onset of the Second World War.
Of course, much of the film used in this depiction was produced for use as either German or Russian propaganda, but this unfortunate limitation of the documentary material is scrupulously balanced and buttressed by both the narrative as well as other materials provided in the series.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russia's two wars. February 21, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This very fine PBS broadcast details Stalin's War against the Russian People and the German War against the Soviet Union. It seeks to detail these two wars and how it combined cost the Soviet Union 45 million people. Why does it matter? Because in today's world, the Germans are scorned for what they did to the world, but very little is said about what Stalin did to the peoples of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. That is why it matters and why this film series shows Stalin and his henchman for what they really were. This film is not for the weak of heart, as it shows some very disturbing scenes and talks about some very revolting subjects. I watched in amazement as people gloated over a person being hanged.

This is a true horror film starring Stalin and Hitler. It shows mans inhumanity to man. This is very much worth watching.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good learning tool. January 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I have always loved to read books and watch videos about World War II and this was an excellent series. First of all, it showed many new video clips that I had never seen before which helps to better illustrate the excelent narration. The introductions by Henry Kissinger also added greatly to the whole peice. I especially remember the segment on Staligrad. It told an informative story from both sides of the battle which gave it a more human feel. Additionally, it illustrated just how brutal Stalin was in his push to free his country from the Nazis. It also raised an interesting question about whether or not Stalin may have been planning an invasion of Hitler's domain just before Hitler attacked. I also agree with a fellow reviewer about its coverage of the Battle of Kursk, very informative. Overall, I learned a great amount from this documentary and it is well worth its price.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Please note that the running time for this DVD set is listed at 520 minutes. The VHS set runs 600 minutes so you are losing more than an hour here??
Published 18 days ago by oldiespete
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent
We all know something of the Stalin era but this strips it down to the raw meat and in a way that leaves you waiting for the next episode. It is a documentary, but not dry. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Documentary!!
Reveals amazing brutally frank interviews, uncensored data and raw archival film clips that will be appreciated by serious history aficionados.
Published 2 months ago by Walter Odosij
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing coverages
This video really covers what happened during Stalins years, lots of footage never seen before. Well done series, covers more than I had learned in History classes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael J. Finn
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Complete Documentary on Stalin
This is a very good documentary on Stalin. It is very informative of the atrocities he committed. It also explains Stalin's pact with Hitler, to carve up Poland between themselves. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Louise Barnes
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor narration
The collection vividly captures the brutality of the Stalinist era, but somehow the narration just doesn't work--kind of like Ringo Starr tying to sing rap....
Published 4 months ago by Brown, Walt
1.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda
Don't waste your time with this false history. This is just a cleverly concealed fabrication, as described in General Ion Pacepa's movie DISINFORMATION. Read more
Published 6 months ago by anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars The Need For Power.
It's almost as difficult to judge historical periods from a distance as it is from a coeval perspective. It's now 2013. Stalin died in the early 50s. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Steven Daedalus
5.0 out of 5 stars great visual history of a ruthless, paranoid dictator
Very well written video documentary of the Stalin years. Commentary by people who lived through those years makes it personal, too.
Published 10 months ago by Leone Whitehall
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive !!!
Amazing and unseen before images. Well edicted and plenty of information. I stronggly recomend Russia's War - Bllood Upon the Snow
Published 10 months ago by Marcelo Garmatter Barretto
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