Soviet, Russian Anthem Author Sergey Mihkalkov Dies at 96

Obituaries | August 27, 2009, Thursday // 14:08|  views

Sergey Mikhalkov receiving an award from Vladimir Putin in March 2003. Photo by

The Russian poet Sergey Mikhalkov (born 1913) best known as the writer of the anthem of the Soviet Union and of today's Russia died Thursday at the age of 96.

In 1942, Mikhalkov was commissioned by Joseph Stalin to write a new national anthem of the USSR as Stalin wanted to replace the Internationale.

The music of the anthem was authored by composer Alexander Alexandrov. What became known as the National Anthem of the Soviet Union was presented to Stalin in 1943, and became official national anthem on January 1, 1944.

After Stalin's death, as part of the process of destalinization, the anthem continued to be used without the words because they made reference to Stalin.

Mikhalkov later wrote new lyrics that were made official in the new Soviet Constitution in October 1977. In this form, the anthem was used until 1991, when after the breakup of the USSR, the Russian President Boris Yeltsin retired it.

However, upon becoming President in 2000, Yeltsin's successor Vladimir Putin commissioned Mikhalkov to write yet new lyrics of the old song to adopt it as the new national anthem of the Russian Federation.

In 2003, Mikhalkov received the Order for Service to the Fatherland 2nd from the then President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

Sergey Mikhalkov is also the father of the two award-winning Russian movie directors, Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrey Konchalovsky.


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Tags: Soviet Union, USSR, anthem, national anthem, Sergey Mikhalkov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrey Konchalovsky, Vladimir Putin, Joseph Stalin, poet


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