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In quotes: Death of Solzhenitsyn

World leaders, literary figures and campaigners have been giving their reactions following the death of Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER

(Solzhenitsyn's death) "is a heavy loss for the whole of Russia. We are proud that Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was our countryman and contemporary. We will remember him as a strong, brave person with enormous dignity.

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FORMER LEADER OF THE SOVIET UNION

Like millions of citizens, Solzhenitsyn lived through tough times. He was one of the first to talk about the inhumane Stalinist regime and about the people who experienced it but were not broken.

Until the end of his days he fought for Russia not only to move away from its totalitarian past but also to have a worthy future, to become a truly free and democratic country. We owe him a lot.

NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT

His intransigence, his ideals and his long, eventful life make Solzhenitsyn a hero from a novel, an heir to Dostoyevsky. He belongs to the pantheon of world history. I pay homage to his memory.

JACQUES CHIRAC, FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT

Alexander Solzhenitsyn will be remembered as an intellectual who provided us with a testimony, tinged with suffering, and a sharp and accurate view on the tragedies of 20th Century totalitarianism.

Russia today lost a great fighter for truth, who worked to reconcile the Russians with their past. The world loses a figure of freedom.

ZINOVY ZINIK, RUSSIAN NOVELIST AND CRITIC

Solzhenitsyn was the mirror of the tragic, ironical Russian history. It's a rather complex, confused, tragic and ironical fate to go through all these tragic tribulations and to end being almost officially accepted by the gang that was at the birth of most powerful denouncing.

ARSENIY ROGINSKIY, HEAD OF HUMAN RIGHTS NGO MEMORIAL

This is a huge blow to Russia, a blow to each of us. We have grown under the sign of Solzhenitsyn.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn always said what he thought, without caring about the consequences, without caring how the authorities would react. He was not afraid to be alone.

ROBERT MENARD, REPORTERS SANS FRONTIERES

He embodied resistance and truth. He embodied discourse at a time when no-one wanted to hear. He was the person who dared to point the finger when no-one wanted to see what was happening.

ANDREI BITOV, RUSSIAN WRITER

(Solzhenitsyn) is of such size that it can't be exaggerated and therefore we can't discuss him as an artist or a political figure. He is like a saga's hero - something much more than can be compared with real human possibilities.

STEPAN SOLZHENITSYN, SON

It's a great loss for our family. It's also a loss for the country. He was always really happy he returned. This is his home.

NATALYA SOLZHENITSYNA, WIDOW

(He) had a difficult but happy life. We were very happy together.


SEE ALSO
Solzhenitsyn in his own words
03 Aug 08 |  Europe


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