Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t former head of the KGB Mr Vladimir Putin praising a Soviet dissident for his defence of human rights … well… in the (almost) words of Alanis Morrisette, a little fucking ironic?
“The celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80. A master musician, Mr Rostropovich was also renowned for his backing for human rights and opposition to Soviet rule.
He spent much of his career abroad, in self-imposed exile from the Soviet Union over his support for Nobel prize writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. But he returned as communism collapsed and performed a Bach suite as the Berlin Wall came down. A month ago the Kremlin lavished praise on him as he celebrated his 80th birthday. President Vladimir Putin said then the musician was not only "a brilliant cellist and gifted conductor," but also "a firm defender of human rights."