Writer Andrei Sinyavsky, jailed by the Soviet Union in 1966 after a celebrated political trial for publishing his works abroad, died Tuesday at his exile home outside Paris. He was 71.
Sinyavsky died after a long illness at his home in the southern suburb of Fontenay-aux-Roses, where he had lived since arriving in France in 1973, the newspaper Le Monde said.
In the Moscow trial that provoked protests around the world, Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years hard labor for distributing writings critical of the totalitarian state. He was stripped of his Soviet citizenship.
The trial was a major event in the struggle for artistic freedom in the Soviet Union and a rallying point for Soviet dissidents. Sinyavsky was released from labor camp about 15 months early in 1971. He was allowed to leave the Soviet Union and settled in France with his wife, Mariya Rozanova. He lectured at the Sorbonne and continued to write.
The Soviet Union restored his citizenship in the late 1980s.
Born in Moscow in 1925, Sinyavsky graduated from Moscow State University. He began his career as a literary critic, specializing in Russian revolutionary poetry of the 1920s.
He gradually broke with literary Socialist realism, held sacrosanct by the Communists, the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass said. He defended his friend and mentor Boris Pasternak after Pasternak was criticized for his novel “Doctor Zhivago.”
Sinyavsky was a harsh critic of Russian President Boris Yeltsin for dissolving parliament in 1993. He also criticized former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar for his economic shock therapy.