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Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn – dissident and writer


Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn talks to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after receiving a State Prize for his achievements in the humanitarian field at his home in Troitse-Lykovo outside Moscow June 12, 2007.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.”