Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
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#5 - JRL 7034
BBC Monitoring
Russian establishment lines up to mark late dissident songwriter's birthday
Source: Channel One TV, Moscow, in Russian 1500 gmt 25 Jan 03

Today the legendary Russian actor and songwriter, Vladimir Vysotskiy, who
died in 1980, would have celebrated his 65th birthday. To commemorate the
anniversary, this afternoon Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife
Lyudmila visited Moscow's Taganka Theatre where Vysotskiy had worked,
Russian Channel One TV reported at 1500 gmt on 25 January.

The TV showed the Putins being welcomed at the entrance to the theatre by
its artistic director, Yuriy Lyubimov, and his wife. Vladimir and Lyudmila
Putin were shown a display of Vysotskiy's theatre costumes and notebooks
and were presented with a new book about the poet and a complete CD
collection of his songs.

Later they had tea at the theatre with the Lyubimovs and the poet's son,
Nikita Vysotskiy. Vladimir Putin was shown asking him in detail about
Vladimir Vysotskiy's museum being set up close to the theatre.

The next report in the news bulletin showed the leadership of Russia's
major centrist party, One Russia, including Interior Minister Boris
Gryzlov, Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoygu and Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov,
laying flowers at the monument to Vladimir Vysotskiy in Strastnoy Boulevard
in central Moscow.

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