Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad began in September 1941 when Nazi German and Finnish armies surrounded the Russian city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). During the winter of 1941-42 people in Leningrad began to die in large numbers because the Germans and Finns would not allow food into the city. Many civilians were also killed by German bombing.
Among those caught up in the siege were the family of former Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin's grandmother and elder brother died during the siege, his mother nearly died of starvation, and his father was wounded while fighting to defend the city.