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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Ukraine Feud: Who Gets Gogol?

The 200th anniversary of writer Nikolai Gogol's birth became the latest point of contention between Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday.

Both Ukrainian and Russian leaders named Gogol their national hero, stretching their simmering disputes to include literature. Gogol, the author of "Dead Souls," was born in Ukraine but wrote in Russian and died in Moscow.

"I think all arguments about where he belongs are pointless and even humiliating to some extent. He no doubt belongs in Ukraine," Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said during a ceremony at Gogol's birthplace in Mirgorod. "Gogol wrote in Russian, but he thought and felt in Ukrainian."

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin countered by declaring Gogol to be a famous Russian. "He is an outstanding Russian writer who, through his work, inseparably links two brotherly peoples -- Russians and Ukrainians," Putin said at a meeting of his United Russia party.