11 Dec 2018 16:59

Solzhenitsyn was man of principle who 'never sought to be convenient to anyone' - Putin

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) - The health of any society is based on honoring moral laws, which Alexander Solzhenitsyn defended in his work and his life, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Putin delivered a speech at a ceremony for the unveiling of a monument to Solzhenitsyn, who would have turned 100 this year.

"In his works, his literary, journalistic, and public activity, Alexander Solzhenitsyn consistently and openly defended his views and convictions and proved the unconditional value of the moral laws on which the health of any society depends," Putin said.

Solzhenitsyn "clearly distinguished the genuine, authentic, national Russia from the totalitarian system that brought suffering and severe ordeals to millions of people," he said.

"Even in exile, Alexander Isayevich never allowed anyone to speak contemptuously of his motherland and angrily confronted any manifestations of Russophobia," Putin said.

"Solzhenitsyn was exclusively a man of principle, who never sought to be convenient to anyone," he said.

Solzhenitsyn sought to use his gift of language "to find a way to develop Russia, so that the severe, dramatic hardships that befell it would never be repeated, and so that our multiethnic people would live in dignity and justice," Putin said. "He saw his mission, his goal, and the meaning of his service in this," Putin said.

He described the 100th anniversary of Solzhenitsyn's birth as a landmark event for the whole of Russia. "The most important thing is that the voice of Alexander Isayevich can still be heard, that his thoughts and ideas still resonate in people's minds and hearts," Putin said, calling for Solzhenitsyn's works to be promoted so that young people will read them.