EVENT 28/03: Andrew Harding introduces A Small, Stubborn Town (Henleaze)

Regular price £5.00

As the Ukraine war enters its second year, we're proud to welcome BBC foreign correspondent, Andrew Harding, to Henleaze to discuss A Small, Stubborn Town. In it, Andrew details how the rural inhabitants of Voznesensk set the tone for Ukraine's heroic defence of their country. 

Thursday 28th March 2024

Max Minerva's, 47 Henleaze Road, BS9 4JU

Doors at 19:00. Discussion at 19:30. Finish at 20:45.

£5.00 ticket only; £9.99 ticket with paperback book.

You don't need to bring your ticket with you, we will have a list of names on the door. Books will be available to buy on the night, priced £9.99


Philippe Sands

[Andrew Harding is] one of our most gifted and sensitive journalists.

Jon Snow

A gripping work of reportage that tells the story of a pivotal moment in Ukraine's war, this is a real-life thriller about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with resilience, humour and ingenuity. 

The Russians are invading. But the locals have a plan.

It's March 2022 and Russian tanks are roaring across the vast, snow-dusted fields of Ukraine. Their destination: Voznesensk, a town with a small bridge that could change the course of the war.

The heavily-armed Russians are expecting an easy fight - or no fight at all. After all, Voznesensk is a quiet farming town, full of pensioners. But the locals appear to have other ideas.

Svetlana, a grandmother with arthritis, reacts in fury when Russian troops turn her cottage into their blood-soaked headquarters. Valentin, a quick-talking lawyer, joins the town's 'Dads Army' defenders, crouching in a trench with an AK47. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Sergei grabs a Molotov cocktail and lies in wait for Russian tanks as they push towards Dead Water Bridge.

The odds are terrible. But a plan is emerging, and there's a chance it could save not just Voznesensk, but the rest of southern Ukraine. Meanwhile, inside the tanks, an inner battle rages. As Russian officer Igor Rudenko prepares to invade, he has a secret. He is Ukrainian himself.

In A Small, Stubborn Town, British journalist Andrew Harding unfolds a microcosm of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, painting a raw, palpable picture of resilience, ingenuity, and unfettered defiance. Harding, a seasoned BBC correspondent, takes you on an extraordinary journey, navigating the landscapes of war-torn Ukraine with astute professionalism and an incisive eye for detail. Drawing from his first-hand experience and intimate reporting, he crafts a narrative that resonates with heroism, humor, and a deep sense of humanity. 


Andrew Harding is a British journalist and author. He has been living and working abroad as a foreign correspondent for the past 3 decades. Since 1994 he has been working for BBC News.

He began his career in the former Soviet Union, initially as a freelancer. After a decade living in Moscow and Tbilisi, he moved to Nairobi, then Singapore, Bangkok and Johannesburg. Andrew has reported on the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia's parliamentary rebellion, the Asian tsunami and west Africa's Ebola outbreak. He has covered many conflicts, most recently in Ukraine, but also in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Darfur, DR Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, South Sudan, Cote D'Ivoire, CAR, Burundi, Uganda, Libya and elsewhere.

In 2014 his coverage of the war in the Central African Republic won an Emmy in New York. His book “These Are Not Gentle People” won South Africa’s top literary prize - the Sunday Times Alan Paton non-fiction Award - and was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious “Golden Dagger” crime prize. The BBC radio series of the same story, Blood Lands, won Europe’s top radio award, a “Prix Europa,” in 2021. Andrew’s reporting from Burma won an Amnesty Human Rights award in 2006. In 2004 he won a share of a Peabody Award for the BBC's coverage of Darfur, and his work from northern Uganda won him a British Foreign Press Award and a Prix Bayeux for War Reporting.

In March 2023 Andrew travelled to Ukraine as one of the BBC’s frontline correspondents, reporting from the Donbas and elsewhere. He has returned repeatedly since then. It was a story he filed on the aftermath of a small battle in southern Ukraine that led him to write his latest book, A Small, Stubborn Town.