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Russian Romany Cultural Figure Nikolai Slichenko Dies At 86

Nikolai Slichenko performing in Moscow in 1995.
Nikolai Slichenko performing in Moscow in 1995.

Russia's most well-known Romany culture figure, Nikolai Slichenko, has died at the age of 86.

The Romen Theater for Romany Culture in Moscow, which Slichenko led for decades, said the entertainer died on July 2 after suffering an unspecified illness for several years.

Slichenko joined the Romen Theater in 1951 and played dozens of roles on its stage before becoming the institution’s director in 1977.

He was also well-known across the former Soviet Union for performing Romany songs and traditional Russian songs.

Slichenko played roles in several Soviet movies, including such popular films as The Wedding In Malinovka and Rainy And Sunny Days.

He also directed several television shows and was the recipient of many state awards before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Based on reporting on TASS and Interfax