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Poet Andrei Voznesensky Dies At Age 77

Andrei Voznesensky in 1978

Andrei Voznesensky in 1978

Russian media report that Andrei Voznesensky, one of the most daring and popular poets of the Soviet era, has died at age 77.

ITAR-TASS news agency and TV channel Rossia-24 did not give a cause for Voznesensky's death.

Voznesensky was one of the so-called "children of the 60s" -- a generation of thinkers who tasted intellectual freedom during the post-Stalin thaw.

His innovative verse thrilled readers but irked authorities and was criticized by orthodox Soviet writers.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev once threatened to exile him.

Like fellow poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Voznesensky's readings once filled sports stadiums.

But his popularity had declined since the glasnost era in the late 1980s.