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Russian PM joins marathon reading of Tolstoy’s War and Peace

December 11, 2015, 13:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Dmitry Medvedev read aloud live on television a fragment of the final chapters of Tolstoy’s masterpiece from his room at the Gorki residence outside Moscow on Friday
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© Dnitry Astakhov/Russian government press service/TASS
© Dnitry Astakhov/Russian government press service/TASS
© Dnitry Astakhov/Russian government press service/TASS
© Dnitry Astakhov/Russian government press service/TASS

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has joined the televised marathon reading of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace, believed to be the most massive literature event of its kind ever.

Medvedev read aloud live on television a fragment of the final chapters of Tolstoy’s masterpiece from his room at the Gorki residence outside Moscow on Friday.

The four-day flashmob, which began on Tuesday, is timed for the 150th anniversary since first publication of the novel, written by Tolstoy between 1863 and 1869.

Organisers have attracted more than 1,300 readers from 34 Russian and world’s cities, including London, Paris, New York and Beijing. All have received a fragment equal to one page of the text.

The flashmob involves politicians, athletes, scientists, actors and students. Among them are the author’s great-great-grandchildren - Vladimir Tolstoy, an adviser to the Russian president, and Fyokla Tolstaya, a TV presenter and the marathon’s initiator.

Tolstoy's masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels, with 36 million copies sold in the Soviet Union. Peak circulation was in 1941, the year when the Great Patriotic War - the Soviet campaign against Nazi Germany - began.

Public reading of Tolstoy’s novel is broadcast on TV and radio channels and on the Internet.

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