An example to us all

“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”

The great Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn died yesterday at the age of 89 bringing an end to the life of surely one of the bravest writers of the 20th Century. For anyone that fears speaking their mind due to reprisals of any kind, they should look at the life of Solzhenitsyn.

He was brave enough to be one of the first to condemn Stalin’s Russia and spent 8 years in a gulag because of it – but still came out the other side unrepentant and vociferous in his writing and criticism.

Despite being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, he continued to be hounded by the KGB although ironically, he eventually received a state award from the former head of the KGB – yes Vladimir Putin – shortly before he died.

Unlike fellow dissident David Shayler, this is one man who could quite justifiably be referred to as Alexander the Great.

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