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Poet Yevtushenko Laid To Rest In Russia, Near Pasternak's Grave

  • RFE/RL

Acclaimed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who died in the United States on April 1, has been laid to rest outside Moscow.

Yevtushenko, who was 84, was buried on April 11 at a cemetery in Peredelkino, a Soviet-era writers community, in a grave near that of Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak.

Hundreds of people paid their last respects to Yevtushenko before the burial, filing past his coffin at Moscow's Central House of Writers.

Natalia Solzhenitsyna, the widow of late Russian writer and Novel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, was among them, as were Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.

Yevtushenko's 1961 poem Babi Yar lambasted Soviet distortions of history and was the first open challenge to Soviet anti-Semitism.

A member of the outspoken "shestidesyatniki" (60s) generation, the Siberia-born poet criticized Soviet actions such as the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.

But he was criticized by fellow poet Joseph Brodsky, who said in 1987 that Yevtushenko "throws stones only in directions that are officially sanctioned and approved."

Yevtushenko moved to the United States in 1991, where he taught at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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