"The moment he saw the flames in Kiev," says Natalia Solzhenitsyn, "he would have died on the spot." The widow of Alexander Solzhenitsyn is considered a vigorous defender and interpreter of the views of her late husband, the Russian novelist and critic of the Soviet Union who died in 2008. Ms Solzhenitsyn spoke with The Economist this summer for two hours in the Moscow flat where her husband was arrested in 1974 before going into exile for 20 years. Given the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, and especially especially the complex standoff that has led both NATO allies and Russia into the fighting in the Middle East, Ms Solzhenitsyn's words are worth hearing.
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