Pushkin translator refuses Russian award because of Putin’s policies

Dutch literary translator Hans Boland has refused to accept an award from the Russian authorities for his work, in protest at ‘president Putin’s behaviour and thinking’, the NRC reports.

Boland should have been awarded the Pushkin medal by Putin himself on November 4, the NRC says.

The Pushkin medal is the highest cultural award Russia can bestow and was to have been given to Boland for his highly praised translations of works by Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and other Russian greats.

In a letter to the cultural attaché at the Russian embassy in The Hague, Boland wrote of Putin: ‘He is a very major danger to peace and freedom on our planet. Every relationship between him and me, between his name and that of Pushkin, is disgusting and insupportable.’

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