The Leningrad Siege During World War II. The Diary of Tanya Savicheva

Samantha Power’s Speech on Leningrad Siege — The Height of Cynicism


The permanent representative of the United States to the UN, Samantha Power, speaking at a meeting of the General Assembly on May 5, 2015, cited the diary of Tanya Savicheva, recalling the suffering of the girl during the siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944.  Below is the comment by Maria Zakharova, Director of the Department of Information and Press of the Russian Foreign Ministry, published in Russian by RT. But first we have to remind you of the tragic story of that Leningrad family. 

The Diary of Tanya Savicheva

During the 900-day German blockade of Leningrad 642,000 civilians died in the city and another 400,000 during evacuation.

In 1941 the Savichev family lived in Leningrad, and was making plans to spend the summer in a country side. But only Tanya’s brother Mikhail managed to leave the city before the blockade.

With the onset of the war all members of the family began helping with the war effort. The mother was sewing uniforms, others worked in weapons manufacturing and served defending the city.

As food supplies were cut off during the siege, most of the city’s residents were sentenced to hungry death. Tanya’s family did not escape the common fate and her diary became a testament to Leningrad’s human tragedy in WWII.

The first entry:

“Zhenya died on December 28, 1041 at 12:30 am”

Sister Zhenya worked at an arms plant, where she had to walk battling the harsh winter elements. She became the first victim of the family, due to high physical demands and a lack of nutrition.

Less then a month later, a new entry appeared in the diary:

“Grandma died on January 25, 1942 at 3pm”

Tanya's grandma, Evdokia Arsenieva

Tanya’s grandma, Evdokia Arsenieva

“Leka died on March 17, 1942, at 5 am”

Leonid Savichev (1917 - 1942)

Leonid Savichev (1917 – 1942)

 “Uncle Vasya died on April 13, 1942 at 2 am”

Vasily Savichev (1885-1942), photo taken in 1915

Vasily Savichev (1885-1942), photo taken in 1915

Finally Tanya writes about the death of uncle Lesha, and her mother Maria. Lesha died on May 10, and her mom 3 days later. In the entry Tanya skips the word “died”:

“Mama on May 13, 1942, at 7:30 am”

Maria Savicheva, Tanya's mother

Maria Savicheva (1889-1942), Tanya’s mother

Last entries:

“Savichev family died”

“Everyone died”

“Only Tanya is left”

Soon Tanya was evacuated with other kids. In august 1942 the train with kids arrived in village Shatki. The girl ended up in an orphanage #48. But she was the only one among the new kids with tuberculosis. Tanya died on July 1, 1944 at 14 years old.


Maria Zakharova:

Cynicism has many definitions and examples. Here’s another one. Cynicism – is when on May 5, 2015, U.S. permanent representative to the UN, Samantha Power from the podium of the General Assembly quotes the diary of Tanya Savicheva, talking about the girl’s suffering during the siege of Leningrad.

First, Samantha Power temporarily forgot that the siege of Leningrad lasted 872 days – from September 8, 1941 to  January 27, 1944. And the long-awaited Second front was opened in Europe six months after the complete liberation of Leningrad from the blockade!

What prevented the US and the UK to start helping our country to save Tanya and hundreds of thousands of the same children for 2.5 years? After all, something was preventing it, right? Or did Washington and London not possess the pages from the diary of Tanya Savicheva at the time? But if they did, then certainly would have started a military operation against Hitler’s troops in Europe three years earlier, right?

It’s just that Tanya is gone. And now American diplomacy can speculate on her name all they want. It is fair to say that to demand a knowledge of history from Americans, especially of a foreign country, although common, is, you know, on the brink of cynicism.

Children in Donbass were hiding in shelters for months while Ukrainian troops are shelling the cities.

Children in Donbass were hiding in shelters for months while Ukrainian troops are shelling the cities.

Secondly, by playing the “good aunt”, who deplores the fate of a child who died in the distant 1944, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN has again forgotten that at no time during the past year, not once at the thematic meetings of the Security Council she bothered to mention about the fate of the still living children of Donbass, too, by the way, suffering [including from hunger – KR] as a result of military operations and humanitarian disaster caused by the current blockade. However, she was not alone to forget about this, but following the other colleagues from the State Department.

It’s just that the children of Donbass don’t exist, it’s all a myth of “Russian propaganda”! They, from the point of view of the “exclusive” Samantha Power, are not even worth the status of Pussy Riot, to talk about them at the UN. Now, if these children died on the right side of history and, preferably, many years ago, to be unable to stand up for themselves; or, stuffing a frozen chicken in all kinds of places [reference to Pussy Riot – KR] proudly declared that they suffer from [Putin’s] regime and lack of creative fulfillment, then Samatha Power would guarantee a free tour of the building of the United Nations and an honorable mention from the UN podium.


Articles by: Maria Zakharova

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