Revered Russian writer Valentin Rasputin dies at age 77

MOSCOW (AP) — Valentin Rasputin, a revered Russian writer who was a prominent member of a literary movement in the 1960s and 1970s known as Village Prose that focused on peasants in the Soviet Union, has died. He was 77.

Rasputin, who died Saturday, was remembered by hundreds of Russians, including President Vladimir Putin, who paid their final respects at Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral.

Reflecting his literary legacy and his official favor, Rasputin’s 10-hour memorial service on Tuesday was held in Christ the Savior Cathedral and led by the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Rasputin had pushed for members of the Pussy Riot group to be jailed for their anti-Putin protest inside the cathedral in 2012. He also had publicly expressed support for Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula last year.