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Former Polish dissident and Russian culture expert dies at 65

May 16, 1997

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Andrzej Drawicz, an early leader of the Solidarity democracy movement, has died of a heart attack at the age of 65.

Drawicz died Thursday in his native Warsaw.

A literary critic, Drawicz translated Russian authors, including Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Bulgakov, into Polish, helping to popularize their works here.

His most important publications included the essays ``The Other Russia″ in 1980 and ``The Row over Russia,″ in 1988.

In 1980, Drawicz joined Solidarity, the first independent labor movement in the former East Bloc, and like most of its leaders was arrested in December 1981 when the communists imposed martial law.

In 1989, after Poles toppled the communist regime, the first Solidarity-led government made Drawicz head of the public radio and television authority. He was widely credited for helping to make the media more independent.

In 1995, Drawicz became an adviser on Polish-Russian relations to then-Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy. He later supported Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former communist and Oleksy’s party leader, in his successful presidential election bid against Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

Drawicz is survived by his wife, Vera. Funeral arrangements were pending.

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