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Dissident Soviet Writer Zinovev Dies

(RFE/RL) May 11, 2006 -- Aleksandr Zinovev, the dissident Soviet writer, has died of cancer in Moscow. He was 83.

Zinovev wrote more than 40 books but it was "The Yawning Heights," his biting satire of the Soviet system, that brought him world fame in 1976.

Soviet authorities deprived him of his citizenship and, in 1978, Zinovev went into exile in Germany.

He wrote further satires of the Soviet system, but also criticized the West for its materialism.

He later opposed the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, accusing him and other champions of perestroika of selling out to Western capitalism.

He returned to Moscow in 1999. His body will lie in state at Moscow State University before he is buried, on May 15.


Aleksandr Zinovev

Aleksandr Zinovev

Aleksandr Zinovev in 1999 (TASS)

CHANGING TIMES: In July 1989, RFE/RL's Russian Service played host to Russian writer and satirist ALEKSANDER ZINOVEV. The author, who had lived in Germany for more than a decade since being stripped of his Soviet citizenship, read excerpts from his new works, including "Temptation," a look at a life in a fictional Russian town under perestroika. Joining him were singer Larisa Kuznetsova and actor Yulian Panich.


Listen to the Zinovev reading (in Russian):
Real Audio Windows Media

MORE: RFE/RL's Russian Service spoke with IGOR VINOGRADOV, editor of the Soviet-era exile journal "Kontinent," about Zinovev's legacy. To read the interview in Russia, click here.

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