August 4, 2008

Solzhenitsyn Wrote About Brutality of Stalin’s Regime – Gorbachev

MOSCOW. Aug 4 (Interfax) - Alexander Solzhenitsyn was "a man with a unique life story whose name will remain in the history of Russia," former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in an interview with Interfax.

"Severe trials befell Solzhenitsyn, as they did millions of other people in this country. He was among the first to speak out about the brutality of Stalin's regime and about the people who experienced it but were not crushed," Gorbachev said.

"A great man and an outstanding author, a Nobel prize winner has died," he said.

In Gorbachev's opinion, 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' and 'The Gulag Archipelago' "changed the minds of millions of people making them rethink their past and present." Solzhenitsyn's contribution to overcoming the totalitarian system cannot be overestimated, he said.

Gorbachev expressed the conviction that Solzhenitsyn continued his mission. "To his last days he continued to work for Russia to get a worthy future, to become a truly free and democratic country, not just break away from the totalitarian past. We owe him much," the former Soviet president said.

Gorbachev expressed his condolences to Solzhenitsyn's widow, family and friends.

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