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Russia Remembers Soviet Underground Singer

26 July 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russians paid homage today to legendary Soviet underground folk singer Vladimir Vysotskii with a series of concerts and gatherings on the 25th anniversary of his death.

Famous for inventive lyrics and a gravelly voice, Vysotskii remains popular in a country that has changed immeasurably since his semi-clandestine performances in Soviet apartments.

Hundreds of people laid flowers at his grave in Moscow, many of them singing his songs.

A monument was unveiled in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, while state-controlled national television channels broadcast documentaries and films in which the poet-singer starred.

Vysotskii died aged 42 on July 25, 1980, after a battle with alcoholism.