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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poet Says Russian Anthem Steals Her Words

A young poet said Thursday she was considering legal action against a popular children's author who she said had stolen her ideas when writing the new lyrics for Russia's restored Soviet-era national anthem.

President Vladimir Putin adopted the new verses by decree Dec. 30, attributing them to Sergei Mikhalkov, 87, who wrote the original words for the "Unbreakable Union" anthem personally approved by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1943.

But Yelena Hebylova said she was consulting lawyers and linguistic experts after recognising her own efforts in work claimed by Mikhalkov as his own, NTV television reported.

Mikhalkov was not available for comment late Thursday, but late last month he claimed authorship of the text in an interview on state television.

Hebylova told NTV she had submitted two texts to a national commission set up to choose a modern text for the country's first song: one for the out-of-favour Glinka tune and another for the stirring Soviet music that has since replaced it.

But when the words were published ahead of Putin's official nationwide television address on New Year's Eve, Hebylova said she was shocked.

"I recognised the first verse straight away. I wrote 'Russia our great nation', he (Mikhalkov) wrote 'Russia our sacred nation'," she told NTV.

"Then it was looked into more deeply, there was a thorough analysis, and other borrowings became apparent", she said.

The poet said was not looking for financial compensation but for recognition of her contribution, reported NTV.

However, a legal expert consulted by NTV said the plagiarism charge could be hard to prove.

Erkin Tuzmukhamedov, a consultant with the firm "Intermedia" said officials who organised the competition may have been responsible for the "borrowings".

"I think when they announced this competition, they should have warned all those taking part that it was possible that your thoughts, your ideas, as Russian citizens, will be used as the foundations for a final text.

"They will be re-worked, without your involvement. I get the impression that is what happened", he said.

In late December, Mikhalkov told state television that he was proud of his new lyrics, saying they were "closer to my heart (than the previous text) because I wrote this sincerely, and I believe what I wrote".

He recited the first verse, which runs: "Russia -- our sacred nation/Russia - our beloved land/ Mighty will, great glory/ These are your riches for ever more."