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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Federation Council Approves New Words to Restored Soviet Anthem

Russia's upper house of parliament Wednesday approved new words to go with the melody of the Soviet national anthem, brought back as Russia's anthem by parliament last month.

The vote in the Federation Council was 141 to 1. The measure, approved by the lower house last week, now goes to President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to sign it.

The new words delete praise for the Communist Party and Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, instead referring to Russia as a country "protected by God." They were written by poet Sergei Mikhalkov, who also wrote the Soviet-era words.

In December, parliament approved the restoration of the Soviet melody. Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, had dropped it as unsuitable for post-Communist Russia and chose a melody by 19th-century composer Mikhail Glinka, then rebuffed Communist efforts to bring back the Soviet anthem.

Putin struck a compromise, giving the Communists the old anthem but retaining other post-Communist symbols such as the tricolor flag, which replaced the red Soviet banner, and the double-headed eagle emblem, drawn from the czarist era.