Putin leads tributes to former Soviet dissident Solzhenitsyn

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Putin leads tributes to former Soviet dissident Solzhenitsyn

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Russia is paying homage to former Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn with all the hallmarks of an official lying-in-state ceremony.

He died on Sunday at the age of 89 after suffering heart failure.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has led tributes, describing his death as a loss for all Russia.

Several other world leaders have also expressed their condolences over the passing of a man who exposed the horror of Josef Stalin’s prison camps and the tyranny of Soviet rule.

While Muscovites lined up to honour the Nobel Literature Laureate, four Russian soldiers in dress uniform stood at attention at the open coffin in the Russian Academy of Sciences – a telling symbol of recognition for the former exile.

A large portrait of Solzhenitsyn and a Russian flag completed the backdrop.

In keeping with Russian tradition, mourners brought an even number of flowers, usually two or four.

An Orthodox funeral service will take place on Wednesday at the medieval Donskoi monastery, where Solzhenitsyn will be buried.