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Russian anthem author Sergei Mikhalkov dies at 96

Russian anthem author Sergei Mikhalkov dies at 96

Sergei Mikhalkov, who wrote the lyrics for both the Soviet and Russian national anthems and fathered two famous film directors, has died at age 96.
Denis Baglai, a spokesman for Mikhalkov's director son Nikita, said he died Thursday, but did not have further details.
The first anthem lyrics penned by Mikhalkov praised Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. A 1977 revision instead glorified Vladimir Lenin.
The anthem was scrapped after the 1991 Soviet collapse, but under President Vladimir Putin the music was revived with new lyrics by Mikhalkov lauding Russia's nature and size.
As a member and chairman of the Soviet Writers Union, Mikhalkov was part of smear campaigns against authors including Nobel laureates Boris Pasternak and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.