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Russia's PM remembers Solzhenitsyn as 'global' personality

MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's premier marked the first anniversary of the death of Soviet dissident and Nobel literature prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn on Monday with a telegram to his family.

Solzhenitsyn, who fought in WWII, spent eight years in labor camps, and lived in exile for 20 years before returning to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, died of heart failure at the age of 89 on August 3, 2008.

In his telegram, Vladimir Putin described the writer as "a global individual, whose creative and ideological heritage will always hold a special place in the history of Russian literature and in the chronicles of our country."

In a letter to Solzhenitsyn's widow, Natalia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said most of the writer's ideas on strengthening statehood and developing democratic freedoms were still topical.

Best known for his Gulag Archipelago, a chronicle of his and thousands of other people's experiences in Soviet labor camps, Solzhenitsyn first received acclaim in Russia and the world during Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's political "thaw." In 1962, his One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - a numbing account of gulag life - was published by the Soviet literary journal Novy Mir.

Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974. Upon his return to Russian in 1994, the writer was given the state award.

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