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Soviet victories and arts in lockdown (E331)

This week, the death toll of the coronavirus in England surpassed that of those who lost their lives in the London blitz. 75 years to the day, it is also the week when the beast of fascism was slain in the rubble of Berlin, where 80,000 soldiers of the Red Army lost their lives in this one assault alone. 26 million citizens of the former Soviet Union died. The Soviet sacrifice was enormous. With four-fifths of Nazis killed by the Red Army, is it any wonder that Winston Churchill said it was the Red Army that tore the guts out of the Weimar. Today should have been a great day celebrating a supreme human achievement but sadly the hidden enemy of a pandemic has curtailed this. So, we spoke with international relations and security analyst, Dr Mark Sleboda, about past battles of the Soviet Union and future battles faced by Russia today. For writers, the pandemic has been something of a mixed blessing. With a mass market sitting at home doing more reading and buying more books online, lockdown is proving to be good for authors. Alex Willmott has written a compendium of small stories across six different genres. But looking at today and what is happening in real life, how does an author write when truth appears to be much stranger than fiction. We asked Alex about this and about how the arts in general are being affected by coronavirus.

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