Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was buried today in a Russian Orthodox ceremony that included goose-stepping honour guards and a religious choir singing dirges.
Solzhenitsyn who died on Sunday at his home outside Moscow aged 89, was buried according to his will amid the pink brick cupolas of Moscow’s Donskoi Monastery, where famous Russian cultural figures have been laid to rest since the 18th century.
The service, attended by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had all the trappings of a state funeral.
Mourners, many of them older people bearing carnations and roses, flowed into the monastery’s main church where Solzhenitsyn lay in an open casket.
A day earlier, thousands turned out in the rain to pay their last respects to Solzhenitsyn at a wake at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Most of the mourners appeared old enough to remember the impact of Solzhenitsyn’s early works, which revealed the existence of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s Gulag, or prison camp system, when they were first published in the 1960s and 1970s.