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Putin congratulates Mikhalkov family on 100th birth anniversary of poet Sergei Mikhalkov, author of Soviet and Russian anthems

March 13, 2013, 10:31 UTC+3

Sergei Mikhalkov “represents the whole epoch and life of the country,” the president noted

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NIKOLINA GORA (Moscow region), March 13 (Itar-Tass) – Russian President Vladimir Putin came to ‘the family nest’ of the Mikhalkovs to congratulate a famous family on the 100th birth anniversary of Sergei Mikhalkov.

The president considers Sergei Mikhalkov as “an outstanding personality in all aspects.” “He has just not only composed two anthems – Soviet and Russian anthems, but he is a playwright, writer, poet and was fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad,” Putin said. In his view, Sergei Mikhalkov “represents the whole epoch and life of the country.” “It is possible to give different assessments to his views, but it is an obvious fact that he is a remarkable person,” the president noted.

Almost all members of a big Mikhalkov family, including seven great grandchildren (only the eldest son Andrei with his wife were absent, as they did not have enough time to return from the United States, and the youngest one-year old great granddaughter Nina), welcomed Putin at the table set for a tea party at their well-known countryside house in the countryside settlement Nikolina Gora, where Sergei Mikhalkov lived and already three generations of his descendants grew up. Putin came to them after an intensive workday, closer to the midnight and noted that already March 13 is about to come that is the birthday of Sergei Mikhalkov. “He was born on March 13, 1913 that is easier to remember,” great granddaughter of the poet actress Anna Mikhalkova said in a joke.

Putin acknowledged that while he was going from his Moscow regional residence, he was looking through the reference about Sergei Mikhalkov provided to him. “He has found an amazing figure as in 2008 the circulation of Mikhalkov’s books reached 300 million copies that is an unbelievable and exorbitant figure,” the president said. “If the copyright had been protected well in our country, you would not have to live in so overcrowded conditions,” Putin added in a joke. The president noted that he was greatly impressed with the number of copies of Mikhalkov’s books that he even thought that this is a mistake. “In fact, this is a mistake, as a total circulation already makes half a billion copies now,” the youngest son of Sergei Mikhalkov, world renowned film director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov noted. The widow of the poet Yulia also confirmed this information. “The writer is alive, while the readers read him. The happiness of Sergei Vladimirovich is that more and more people read him,” she said, giving a growing Mikhalkov family as an example.

The issue of a large race was continued in the discussion on the question, how it is better to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Sergei Mikhalkov. Nikita Mikhalkov said about the idea to unveil a monument to his father at a residential house in Povarskaya Street, where the latter lived, so that “he will be sitting on the bench in the courtyard.” Nikita Mikhalkov proposed that the Moscow authorities should help to unveil the monument and lay out a garden at the monument. “I was speaking with Sobyanin (Moscow Mayor), he understands everything, I do not see any problems,” Putin replied. Anna Mikhalkova has made a counterproposal that the whole big Mikhalkov family can go out for developing the garden at the monument. The president supported her, proposing that the younger generations should be attracted to the garden development.

The president also liked the idea to name a ship or an airliner after Sergei Mikhalkov. “We have good big ships, which will serve to people for many decades to come,” he said.

The Mikhalkovs presented to Putin a book of Sergei Mikhalkov’s recollections, which is named after the phrase “the most important giant” taken from the children’s poem “Dydya Stepa” (uncle Stepa). Nikita Mikhalkov believes that the books of his father “are known to any reader on the Russian language.” “These books are needed and constitute the whole epoch,” he said with confidence.

Nikita Mikhalkov acknowledged to Itar-Tass that he realized the scale of Sergei Mikhalkov’s talent only several years ago. “I knew that many of his children’s rhymes are dedicated to me, but neither I and my brother nor our children and grandchildren did not take them as a matter of special honour,” he admitted. Now Mikhalkov Jr. called his father primarily as a great writer for children. “He was speaking with a 12-year-old teenager as his age-mate, understood the children’s psychology fantastically, and he had the view on the children’s world not from outside, but from inside,” he remarked. In reply to the question where his great grandchildren read Sergei Mikhalkov’s books, their parents gave an evasive answer. Sergei, 12, has clarified the issue, distracting from a game with an iPhone. He quoted the phrase from the poem of his great grandfather just suitable for the occasion, “I hate the word ‘to sleep’!” Despite the late evening all members of Mikhalkov’s younger generation waited to meet with Putin.


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