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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sergei Mikhalkov

The fragment of the article published 28 Aug 2009

Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov was born into an aristocratic family on March 13 1913 and educated in Pyatigorsk. He wrote poetry from childhood, but aged 17 he went to Moscow to work in a fabric factory. He also joined geological expeditions to eastern Kazakhstan.
By 1933, however, his poetry was selling well and he began to earn his living from writing. From 1935 to 1937 he studied at the Gorky Institute of Literature. During the war he served with the Red Army and worked as a war correspondent.
Mikhalkov's children's poems about "Uncle Styopa", an enormously tall police officer, have remained hugely popular in Russia since they first appeared in 1935, and are still learned in nursery schools.
Honours were heaped on him: he received three Stalin Prizes (1941, 1942 and 1950) and the Order of Lenin, and was appointed a Hero of Socialist Labour.
On Mikhalkov's 90th birthday in 2003 Putin visited him personally at his home to present him with the 2nd class Order for Service to the Fatherland; and last year the president admitted him to the Order of St Andrew – Russia's highest award – for his services to literature.
Mikhalkov, who was also a noted playwright, was a chairman of the Soviet Writers' Union, and took part in smear campaigns against other authors, including Boris Pasternak and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.


Uncle Styopa by Sergei Mikhalkov
Drawings by David Dubinskiy


Uncle Styopa by Sergei Mikhalkov
Drawings by Korovin


Uncle Styopa by Sergei Mikhalkov
Drawings by Fyodor Lemkul


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