President Dmitri Medvedev expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who passed away in the early hours of Monday in his 90th year. Mr Medvedev stated that he believed that Solzhenitsyn was one of the greatest writers and humanists of the 20th century, the press service of the Kremlin reported. “The death of this great man, one of the greatest thinkers, writers, and humanists of the 20th century, is an irreplaceable loss to Russia and the entire world. Aleksandr Isaevich devoted his entire life to the motherland. He served her as a true citizen and patriot, and his heart ached over the fate of the Russian people and the true state of the country”, Mr Medvedev’s telegram of condolences stated.
The president noted that the highest concern of Solzhenitsyn was the preservation of the moral and spiritual ideals of Russia. “He considered them as the most important props of the state and society and fought for their preservation. The idea of the enrichment of the Russian people is forever connected with his name. His studies of our national history made an enormous contribution to the development of world culture and influenced the personal development of millions of people. His name is forever connected with the fate of Russia. The memory of Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn shall always be in our hearts”, the telegram said.
The ceremony of farewell (lying in state) of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn shall take place on Tuesday starting at 11.00 Moscow time (07.00 GMT, 03.00 EDT) at the Moscow headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The funeral and burial are scheduled for Wednesday at the Donskoy Monastery cemetery in Moscow.
4 August 2008