#NewBook: The Drau River Flows to Siberia: The Victims of Victory by Marina Osipova @marosikok #WWII #historicalfiction #Russia

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Hi Everyone! I hope this finds you all well. 😊

Today, I’m delighted to host a fellow author and friend, who has written a new book. I love all her books, and she never shies away from telling the truth about Russia and War. In her wonderful fiction, she always brings her characters and settings to vivid life. I haven’t reviewed this book yet, but I highly recommend it. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I owe Marina a huge apology, as I should have put up this post in early October, but, well … yep, life! 😵‍💫 And this author is so understanding and kind and has told me to post it whenever I can, so finally, here it is! Yay! 💃🥳😊

Without further ado, I’ll let this lovely lady introduce herself and her writing …

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Thank you very much, Harmony, for hosting me, and best greetings to your readers who visit your blog today. I’m honored to be invited by you and am thrilled to tell you about my newest book, The Drau River Flows to Siberia: The Victims of Victory.

It’s fantastic to have you here, Marina! 😊

The story captures the hushed after-war events and actions conducted by Allies, which to this day many may not know about. I came to the subject by pure chance—stumbling upon a video on YouTube, titled Последняя тайна Второй мировой (The Last Secret of the Second World War). I was drawn to the theme instantly and couldn’t help but feel an urge to write about it.

In its core, it is a story of betrayal, tragedy, love and devotion, guilt, and survival.

I cannot expect my readers ‘to take delight’ in this novel; rather, to pain for its characters. The story is tragic. And yet, the first readers of my ARC agreed with me that stories like this must be told.



February 4–11, 1945. Yalta, a resort town on the Crimean Peninsula, Soviet Union. The Big Three are posing for a camera. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. All smiling. Stalin, his head is half a turn away from the other two. A shrewd smirk is hiding behind his walrus mustache. He seems to be pleased. Why wouldn’t he be? The Big Three signed the agreement that will shape the fate of Europe and . . .

 In 1941, Anna is sixteen, almost an adult yet still a child, craving independence and keen to become an operetta actress. Her rosy aspirations are disrupted by the war. When Krasnodar is taken by the Wehrmacht, she is one of the populace who are ordered to repair roads for the occupants’ trucks and cars and, in fall, to toil in the fields for the sake of sending the harvest to the enemy’s land. A dire event coerces her to go to Germany where she is auctioned as a slave worker.Book Cover for The Drau River Flows to Siberia: The Victims of Victory by Marina Osipova

Born in Berlin into an émigré Cossack family, young Zakhary is more interested in books and archeology than in the war that is raging through Europe, even less in the cause of his parents and their friends, which is to overthrow the Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Union and revert to Imperial Russia. He just doesn’t want to be a part of it. That is, until he finds himself among the Cossacks fighting alongside the Germans against the Allies.

In Italy, he meets Marishka, a young woman of Cossack heritage who fled the Soviet Union with other anti-Soviet Cossacks and departing German troops under the push of the Red Army. They fall in love and marry. And then, on June 1, 1945, Lienz happened.

After the war, a ghastly fate propels each of them to the merciless land where skies are leaden gray, frosts plunge below -60°C in winter, and the woods are impenetrable and so vast, there is no escape from there.

Anna and Zakhary carry with them their personal wounds, at the same time haunted by unbearable guilt, which they can’t undo or fix. In 1955, fate brings them together on an isolated peninsula of the Ob River, connected to one another in inextricably entangled ways they do not yet realize. More than a decade later, can they bury the cruel past and build a future for themselves in the country without Stalin but sealed behind the Iron Curtain?

This is their story, relived in one day.



The outside was full of sounds: sheep bleating, painfully, as though calling for help, but that’s how they always wailed, as though complaining. A croak of a crow was answered by another one. A distant roar of airplanes. There will be more bombings, she thought. Her ears registered the same cacophony of sounds. Now it must be safe to go, she assured herself and took a step to the gate. She moved the latch up and pushed against the gate leaf. It didn’t succumb to her effort. She put her shoulder to it to nudge it open. To no avail.

Panic came with the smell of burning. And then she saw it! From the left corner of the barn, where she knew was a broad chink between the planks, the fire, crackling, was making its way to the main haystack. For a moment, she didn’t know how long she stood there, paralyzed, staring at the merry tongues of flames making their way up and to the sides of the stack. She threw herself at the gate, pounding on it and screaming at the top of her lungs, “Hilfe!—Help!”

Verdammte Partisanen! Brenn in der Hölle!—Damned partisans! Burn in hell!” A demonic laugh assaulted her ears.

She pulled her apron off and started fighting the fire, yet the spurts of flame, finding dry hay, playfully went on devouring it.

Hilfe!” Anna screamed again, comprehending the helplessness of her situation. Frau and Sebastian in the house, Herr in the fields, no one will hear my plea. Her lungs protesting the rising heat, she pressed against the wall to gain some air through the many but narrow chinks. She started choking, which unleashed with it a horrible memory. That’s how they felt, those people—women, children, and the elderly—when the Einsatzgruppe corralled them inside the church during the service and, latching the doors, set it on fire. Those flamethrowers! They spewed the long tongues of fire through the windows, at the wooden walls of the place of God. Being a witness to it, she could hear the screaming and banging on the doors that would stay with her forever. The horror of that event was now hers. In reality. Happening to her.

What saved her then? Only the fact that she was raised an atheist and had never attended a church service.

She gasped for air. The next instant . . .



Author Picture of Marina OsipovaMarina Osipova was born in East Germany into a military family and grew up in Russia, where she graduated from the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives. When she was five, she decided she wanted to speak German and, years later, she earned a diploma as a German language translator from the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. In Russia, she worked first in a scientific-technical institute as a translator, then in a Government Ministry in the office of international relations, later for some Austrian firms. For many years, she lived in New York, working in a law firm, and then in Austria for several years. In the spring of 2022, after spending ten months in Russia, some unfortunate world events brought her back to the United States.

A long-standing member of the Historical Novel Society, she is dedicated to writing historical fiction, especially related to WWII. Her books garnered numerous literary awards, including a 1st Place WINNER of the 2021 Hemingway Book Awards novel competition for 20th Century Wartime Fiction (a division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards). At some point or another, all her books hit the Amazon Top 100 lists in Historical Russian Fiction and Historical German Fiction and How Dare the Birds Sing even #1 or #2 in War Fiction in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Her readers praise her books for “emotional realism,” for “taking on a subject that few authors have touched,” for “writing with heart and compassion while not holding back from hard cold realities of war,” for “giving an authentic and in-depth look at a culture that tends to baffle westerners.”

To learn more about Marina Osipova and her captivating books, visit her website at https://www. marina-osipova.com.

You can find her also on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marina.osipova.14/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4701687.Marina_Osipova

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marosikok

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marina-osipova-65b81418/

Bookbub: bookbub.com/authors/marina-osipova

I hope you’ve all enjoyed meeting Marina and learning about her latest book.

Seriously, if you haven’t yet read any of her books, I can’t recommend them highly enough to you!

Thanks for stopping by and supporting Marina and myself. We both appreciate you all so much. Hugs 💖🤗💖

46 Comments on “#NewBook: The Drau River Flows to Siberia: The Victims of Victory by Marina Osipova @marosikok #WWII #historicalfiction #Russia

  1. Fascinating storyline, and so nice to see Marina featured here. I am a huge fan of her books and now running to add this one! Congrats Marina! <3

  2. Hi Harmony, a lovely post about Marina and her book. This book does sound very sad, but that is the nature of a lot of history.

  3. Thank you for introducing Marina to me and sharing her book, “The Drau River Flows to Siberia: The Victims of Victory.” It sounds like a powerful read, and I will check it out further. My sincerest congratulations to Marina. ❤️

  4. Thank you for this marvelous post, Harmony! xo

    And, congratulations to the author! This book looks incredible and I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  5. For some reason some of the images aren’t showing on some browsers/devices. I’m so sorry about this.

  6. Really enjoy learning more about Marina and her work, especially The Victims of Victory. Thanks for sharing, Harmony, and best wishes for huge success with this one, Marina. Super post! 😀 <3

  7. Hi Harmony
    Marina sounds very different from the authors you usually feature, and I’m intrigued. I visited Russia years twice years ago – St Petersburg not Moscoe – and also “East” Germany long after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We were fortunate with our guide in Berlin. Her parents had lived in East Germany, as had she as a little girl, and the true stories she told us were shocking. I guess this book is likely to be the same, and I’m adding it to my TBR list. My life, like yours, isn’t easy, so I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. I will reblog, though.
    Love and hugs, Sarah

    • I’m so pleased you love the book’s post so much. I’m sure you’ll enjoy Marina’s writing.
      I continue to hope things gets easier or at least more settled for you, Sarah. Love and hugs 🤗💕🙂

    • Sara, thank you for telling a bit of your impression about your visits to Russia and the East Germany. I hope you’ll find my story interesting at some point when you have time. Thank you for reblogging.

    • Marina is an excellent writer, who shows the raw truths of a world many of us don’t ever see. I’m delighted you’re planning to read this! Thanks, Vivienne 💕🙂

  8. This book sounds un-putdownable. Thanks Harmony for the introduction to this author and her Bio. It certainly sounds like she knows her subject well. Huge Hugs to you both.