August 7th, 2008 09:57 EST
Russian Nobel Laureate laid to rest
Russian Nobel Laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the dissident author whose writing exposed the horrors of Soviet-era slave labor, has been buried at a historic Moscow cemetery.
Solzhenitsyn, who died Sunday at age 89, was laid to rest Wednesday on the grounds of the 16th-century Donskoy monastery alongside other famous Russian cultural figures.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev joined hundreds of mourners and a host of Orthodox clergy, for a funeral ceremony with all of the trappings of a state funeral, including a military band and honor guards. Solzhenitsyn lay in an open casket with a wooden cross on his chest.
Mr. Medvedev Wednesday signed a decree calling for creation of a special scholarship fund in honor of Solzhenitsyn. He also instructed the Moscow government to rename a street in the author`s honor and suggested that authorities in his birthplace, Kislovodsk, erect a monument to him.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was among mourners, who filed past Solzhenitsyn`s casket Tuesday during his wake at the country`s Academy of Sciences.
Solzhenitsyn won global recognition in 1962 with his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, based on his experiences in Soviet prison camps in the 1940s and 50s. He won the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature, but was stripped of his citizenship and driven into exile four years later after The Gulag Archipelago was printed in the West.
Solzhenitsyn eventually settled in the United States and wrote about what he thought was the moral decline and obsessive materialism of the West.
He returned to Russia in 1994.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.