The Russian poet and regime critic Lev Rubinstein has died at the age of 76 after being hit by a vehicle at a pedestrian crossing in Moscow, as reported by his daughter on social media, according to AFP.
Rubinstein was known as a conceptual poet from the literary avant-garde, who mocked the official Soviet-era doctrines of socialist realism in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was also renowned as an essayist and social activist.
"My father, Lev Rubinstein, died today," writes his daughter Maria in a "LiveJournal" blog, as quoted by Russian media. The 76-year-old was hit on January 8 and was hospitalized in critical condition. The Russian Ministry of Transport states that "the driver who hit him did not slow down as Rubinstein crossed the street. The driver had been involved in 19 traffic violations over 12 months, according to the ministry.
Rubinstein created his own genre at the crossroads between poetry and theater by writing short sentences on perforated cards, which were read aloud on stage.
His work, a mix of absurd comedy and improvisation, was inspired by his previous work as a librarian and bureaucrat in the Soviet era. After the fall of communism, he became a prominent cultural figure, published by major mainstream publishers.
Rubinstein was openly hostile to Vladimir Putin's government and regularly participated in demonstrations against the Kremlin's increasing repression and human rights violations.
Following Putin's order for an invasion of Ukraine, Rubinstein, along with other prominent writers, signed an open letter condemning "a criminal war" and "lies" from the Kremlin.
He also condemned the suppression of LGBT rights.