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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Solzhenitsyn Returns to Moscow

Alexander Solzhenitsyn ended a seven-week odyssey across Russia at Moscow's Yaroslavl station on Thursday evening, stepping off the train to a mixed chorus of cheers and taunts.


The Nobel prize winner used his first speech in the capital for a sharp attack on the government


"There is a cry of pain everywhere that the government was once again shirking its responsibilities to the people," Solzhenitsyn said.


Around 1,000 people waited under wet skies for the writer's address to the nation. The mostly sympathetic crowd was sprinkled with hardline communists, whose shouts of "Shame!" at times nearly drowned out the writer.


"Over the past eight weeks I have met with many people," said Solzhenitsyn. "I remember it all -- their advice, requests, their insistence that I take their message to Moscow."


Solzhenitsyn repeated his assurance that he would neither seek nor accept political office. "Speaking and trying to influence -- that is my task," he said.


Russian television reported that the writer had talked with President Boris Yeltsin and arranged a meeting.


Solzhenitsyn was met by Mayor Yury Luzhkov. Human rights activists Father Gleb Yakunin and Sergei Kovalyov were also on hand to pay their respects to a man who for over 30 years has been a symbol of courage in the face of oppression