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Solzhenitsyn Granted Top State Award

Solzhenitsyn at the dedication of monument to Anton Chekhov in Moscow in 1998 (ITAR-TASS) June 5, 2007 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting a top award to Nobel Prize-winning writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn next week will receive Russia's state award for achievements in the field of the humanities.

The 88-year-old novelist is best known for writing "The Gulag Archipelago," an effort to document the history of Soviet-era prison camps that led to his exile from the Soviet Union in 1974.

Solzhenitsyn will be the second person to receive the prize, which was first awarded last year to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksy II.

(dpa, Interfax, ITAR-TASS)

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