It was a bloody and brutal battle for freedom that left tens of thousands of soldiers dead on both sides.
Hundreds of actors dressed up as fighters for both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to reenact one of the final battles which ended the Siege of Leningrad in 1944.
They donned uniforms and were equipped with realistic looking weapons and equipment to clash in the snow near the town of Volosovo.
The siege began in 1941, three months after Hitler commenced Operation Barbarossa – the invasion of Russia.
More than one million people were killed during the 872-day campaign at the city, now St Petersburg, with the Russians finally ending it on January 27, 1944.
This reenactment of the attack led by Lieutenant Colonel Vladislav Khrustitsky’s 30th tank brigade was arranged to mark the anniversary and remember those who fought and died for their countries.
It also involved dogs, military vehicles, trucks, cars, and motorcycles of the era to make the experience as authentic as possible, although it did not stop the actors popping into shops in full uniform to grab a snack.
Some kept to the script however, drinking coffee out of metal cups and eating tinned food that would have been rationed among troops during the Second World War.
Some 76,000 Red Army troops were either killed or were missing after the fighting stopped, while almost 25,000 German soldiers were slain or left for dead.
The number of men wounded brought the total amount of casualties in the battle to almost 500,000.
Taking Leningrad was a strategic part of Adolf Hitler’s ultimately failed plan to eliminate the Soviet Union as a threat to German domination of Europe.
The assault is considered one of the most devastating sieges in history, with German commanders calculating that starvation would be their most effective weapon.
Hundreds of actors dressed as Red Army and Nazi Germany soldiers (pictured) to reenact the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad
They wore historically-correct uniforms and replica equipment and weapons to make the battle as authentic as possible
Soviet ‘soldiers’, pictured, rush forward as they lead the offensive in Volosovo to free Leningrad after a three-year siege by the Nazis
The offensive began in mid-January 1944 and the number of casualties suffered on both sides came to almost 500,000
More than one million people died during the siege after food supplies were cut off and bread rations were cut to 0.2lbs per day
The Russians finally lifted the siege on January 27, 1944 at a cost of 76,000 soldiers killed or missing and presumed dead
German soldiers, pictured, began the siege in September 1941, three months after Hitler commenced Operation Barbarossa
In keeping with the history of the battle, the actors cooked food using battlefield equipment, pictured
THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD – THE THREE-YEAR FIGHT THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF MORE THAN A MILLION PEOPLE
On 8 September 1941, German troops surrounded Leningrad – modern-day St Petersburg – and blockaded the city.
More than 3 million residents were trapped and food supplies were cut.
On 12 September, authorities estimated that the city had enough flour to last just 35 days, cereals for 30 days, meat for 33 days and sugar for 60.
Soldiers evacuate wounded civilians who have been shot by Nazi forces during the Siege of Leningrad, pictured
By the end of the first month, oil and coal supplies ran out causing water pipes to freeze, effectively shutting off water supplies.
By November, rations were said to have been as low as one third of the daily recommended amount for adults and reports suggest animals, including rats and crows as well as family pets, were used as food.
In some cases bread rations were limited to just 0.2lbs (125g), people were getting just 200 calories a day, and 100,000 people were dying a month. There were even reports of cannibalism.
Nazi troops pictured walking through the devastated city after the siege began in September 1941
Although the Red Army was able to break the siege in January 1943, it took a full year to finally lift it through a series of attacks around the city, beginning on January 13, 1944.
After more than 200,000 shells were fired onto German lines over three days, troops moved in from January 16 and began pushing the Nazis back, with Josef Stalin announcing the city had been relieved on January 27.
The siege lasted 872 days and as many as 1.5 million people reportedly starved to death.
Actors dressed as German troops are pictured checking their guns and ammunition before defending their lines against the Russians
The actors enjoyed recreating history and kept to character, dressing in real uniforms and eating tinned food, pictured right and left
German lines were shelled for three days in mid January 1944 before the Russians mounted an offensive, driving them away
Even dogs were brought in to make the reenactment of the ending of the Siege of Leningrad, now St Petersburg, more realistic
Military vehicles from the time were also used by the actors dressed as high ranking officers directing the battle
German soldiers would likely have preferred these ‘sandbags’ – which are actually filled with coffee beans from Papua New Guinea
The Russian winters are well known for their severity and an actor is pictured warming himself over a fire on the battlefield
If they didn’t have jeeps or motorcycles available, German troops would use dog sleds to move around the snowy terrain
Almost 25,000 German soldiers were slain or left for dead in the attack, which drove them almost 100 miles away from Leningrad
An actor dressed as a Russian soldier is pictured enjoying an authentic hot drink out of a metal cup
This particular reenactment from the ending of the siege recreated Lieutenant Colonel Vladislav Khrustitsky’s 30th tank brigade’s efforts
Battle plans are drawn up on the Nazi side, pictured, but the end of this battle has already been decided by history
Pictured: ‘German soldiers’ put their differences with a woman of the Red Army aside and share a handshake in a Russian shop