Anya Shevchenko
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Soviet Union (born in Ukraine)
Occupation: Farmer
Spouse: Ihor Shevchenko

Anya Shevchenko was the wife of Ihor Shevchenko. They lived and worked on a Kolkhoz (collective farm) 127 outside of Kiev when World War III broke out in 1951.[1] She was a petite woman.[2]

In January 1951, as tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union mounted over the Korean War, Shevchenko learned that the Kiev Military District was mobilized.[3] Like many in the Soviet Union (and the world), the Shevchenkos watched anxiously as the Soviet Union and the United States traded atomic bomb attacks against in their respective spheres of influence. [4] Two days later, the Soviets and their allies invaded West Germany.[5]

On 24 February, the MGB came to the kolkohz to collect men for the infantry, ultimately taking four. Ihor was examined by an agent until that agent was satisfied that Ihor's old injury would not make him a good infantryman.[6] After they left, the Shevchenkos were left to contemplate how the loss of the four men might impact the farm's quotas.[7] The next day, Radio Moscow broadcast that the Soviets had plunged deep into West German territory, and that the U.S. had attacked both Soviet cities and key cities of its allies with conventional ordinance. Among these was Leningrad. Radio Moscow claimed the night attack killed children playing a park.[8]

The war continued on. On 2 March 1951, the Soviets launched an audacious bombing raid against the U.S., successfully destroying several cities in the western part of the country, as well as Bangor, Maine, and a location in Newfoundland in Canada.[9] The kolkohz celebrated over the next days, although Shevchenko had his private doubts about the course the war was taking.[10]

On Sunday, 4 March, Anya was sick, and could not go to Kiev as she usually did. To avoid catching what she had, Shevchenko decided to walk in the woods. At one point, he saw three women on bicycle head for Kiev, and wondered if Anya had gone after all. Some 15 or 20 minutes later, he heard the sound of sirens, jets and guns in the distance. Then an atomic bomb exploded over Kiev.[11] He was able to get home, and began praying, even though he was not supposed to, as he realized that if Anya had not been sick, she would have gone to Kiev, and most likely have died.[12] As a consequence, Shevechenko felt his long dormant belief in God rekindling. He didn't make too much of a spectacle in public, and Anya discouraged him from being too loud even in private.[13]

In June, the MGB returned to the collective farm. This time, Shevchenko was taken (along with Bohdan Gavrysh), much to Anya's distress.[14]


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 47, ebook.
  2. Ibid., pg. 102
  3. Ibid., pg. 48-49.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 102-105.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 110-118.
  6. Ibid. pgs. 118.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 119-120.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 120-121.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 151-155.
  10. Ibid., pg. 159.
  11. Ibid., pg. 161.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 162-163.
  13. Ibid., pgs. 197-198.
  14. Ibid., pgs. 419-423.

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