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Red Winter: One Woman’s Struggle To Survive The Russian Revolution

Kyra Kaptzan Robinov

Winter, 1920. The peaceful Siberian city of Nikolaevsk is cut off from the world. When a band of Bolshevik revolutionaries infiltrates the town, Luba’s husband is imprisoned, then murdered. She and her children seek refuge in pigsties, warehouses, and opium dens as they attempt to stay alive. Red Winter was inspired by the author’s family story.

Winter, 1920. While the peaceful remote Siberian city of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur is frozen from the world, a band of Bolshevik revolutionaries infiltrates the town and arrests the majority of the population: businessmen, bourgeoisie, foreigners, and Jews. Luba’s husband, Ilya, a prominent newspaper editor and lawyer, is among those jailed and tortured. Overnight, her comfortable, upper class life is upended and Luba finds herself on the run with four small children and a mother-in-law. Pigsties, abandoned warehouses, opium dens are just a few of the places Luba seeks refuge as she tries to elude capture and stay alive.

The little-known history of this exotic time and place is seen through the eyes of a reluctant heroine grappling with adversity and loss during the dangerous political chaos following the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II. Kyra Kaptzan Robinov has woven her family’s history into a fictional narrative.

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