By Anatoly Korolev:
"Solzhenitsyn's recent appearance on television has dispelled the persistent rumors about him suffering from a serious illness. He still comes across as energetic, lively and witty, thank God. But the reason behind his reemerging in the public eye has a somewhat comic flavor to it. The governor of the Kuban province, southern Russia, Tkachev came to visit the world-famous writer in his retreat outside Moscow-only to receive lavish praise from the host for handing his late grandfather's two-storied house over to a local church. Isn't it a noble gesture? Very much so. Why, then, the event has been taken with a sigh of general disappointment? Solzhenitsyn's detractors claim that this is a publicity stunt rather than a sincere effort to be helpful to the community. The Russian people may topple their idols as easily as they put them on the throne. But their present skepticism vis-a-vis Solzhenitsyn is understandable-they have expected him to act like Christ -- not like Pyotr Stolypin."