MOSCOW Nov 20 Russians ranging from President
Vladimir Putin to his critics lamented on Tuesday the death of
Boris Strugatsky, a writer who inspired generations with novels
that often masked anti-Soviet political satire as science
Strugatsky, who wrote most of his works alongside his
brother Arkady, died at the age of 79 on Monday in his native
city of St Petersburg. Arkady Strugatsky died in 1991.
Their best-known novel, "Roadside Picnic", was the basis for
director Andrei Tarkovsky's film "Stalker".
Strugatsky's most controversial works were heavily edited by
Soviet censors. Some novels, such as "Snail on a Slope", were
published in full only after the last Soviet president, Mikhail
Gorbachev, launched his "Glasnost" (openness) reforms.
Although Strugatsky often publicly sided with the
anti-Kremlin opposition movement in recent years, the Kremlin
said Putin offered condolences to his relatives and called him
"a real intellectual authority for many generations".
Writer Boris Akunin, one of the leaders of opposition
protests, described Strugatsky as a pessimist who never had any
illusions but was always ready to raise his voice against the
In a blog, Akunin recalled Strugatsky's response to his plea
to sign a petition in defence of a jailed lawyer: "Nothing will
come of it. This state will never let its jaws unclench. But of
course I will sign it".
(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski, editing by Paul Casciato)