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Russian author Daniil Granin dies at 98

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/5/2017
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 file photo 95-year-old Russian author Daniil Granin speaks during a ceremony marking the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism at the German Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 file photo 95-year-old Russian author Daniil Granin speaks during a ceremony marking the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism at the German Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, has died. He was 98.

FILE - In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006, Russian writer Daniil Granin attends a Big Book national literary prize awarding ceremony in Moscow, Russia. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006, Russian writer Daniil Granin attends a Big Book national literary prize awarding ceremony in Moscow, Russia. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)

Granin, a World War II veteran whose writings made him a moral authority for many in Russia, died Tuesday at a hospital in St. Petersburg, Russian news reports said.

FILE - In this Saturday, June 3, 2017 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks to Russian writer Daniil Granin, 98, after an awarding ceremony at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (Alexei Druzhinin/ Pool File Photo via AP) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Saturday, June 3, 2017 file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks to Russian writer Daniil Granin, 98, after an awarding ceremony at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Daniil Granin, a Russian author who wrote a chronicle of the Nazi siege of Leningrad and several widely popular novels, died Tuesday in St. Petersburg at the age of 98. (Alexei Druzhinin/ Pool File Photo via AP)

President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to his family, praising Granin as a "great thinker" and a "man of great spiritual strength."

Granin, who was trained as an industrial engineer, joined the Red Army when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and fought through the end of WW II.

He published his first work in 1949 and authored several novels inspired by his experience as an engineer, describing scientists fighting for their inventions against stolid bureaucracy. Several of Granin's books were turned into movies, earning him quick popularity.

In the 1970s, Granin published "A Book of the Blockade," containing horrifying accounts by survivors of the Nazi siege of Leningrad.

When Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched his openness campaign, Granin won acclaim with a 1987 biography of genetic scientist Nikolai Timofeev-Resovsky who faced repression under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's rule.

In 2014, Granin — 95 at the time — made a powerful, widely quoted speech about the siege of Leningrad at the German parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

City authorities said Granin is to be buried Saturday at the Komarovo cemetery outside St. Petersburg.

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