Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Tributes have been pouring in for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author, former Soviet dissident and Nobel Literature prize laureate who died on Sunday aged 89.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, described the author of “The Gulag Archipelago” and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” as a man of unique destiny and said: ”He was one of the first people who spoke up about the inhumanity of Stalin’s regime with a full voice, and about the people who lived through this but were not broken.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called him ”one of Russia’s greatest consciences of the 20th century” and said: ”His refusal to compromise, his ideals and his long and eventful life make Alexander Solzhenitsyn a romantic figure, an heir of Dostoyevsky’s.” He said Solzhenitsyn “belongs to the pantheon of world literature.”
London’s Daily Telegraph said Solzhenitsyn ”was not only a great man, but a passionately committed writer – he believed it was his moral duty, in the face of systematic totalitarian obfuscation, to record Russia’s 20th-century experience for posterity.”
Russia’s angry response to an accord between Washington and Prague on building part of a U.S. missile defence shield in the Czech Republic is reminiscent of the rhetoric of the Cold War. Although Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow still wants talks on the missile shield, his Foreign Ministry has threatened a “military-technical” response if the shield is deployed.
That phrase could have come straight out of the Soviet lexicon and seems more at home in the second half of the last century than now. Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer called it psychological pressure to try to encourage opposition to the missile system among Europeans, and described it as “the same sort that was used in the 1980s by the Soviet Union when the United States deployed cruise missiles in Europe.”