Regarded as father of Russian punk music

Yegor Letov, widely regarded as the father of Russian punk music, has died, according to his band’s Web site. He was 43.

Letov was the singer of the noisy and confrontational group “Grazhdanskaya Oborona,” which became notorious in the late 1980s as the Soviet Union was gripped by social and political changes.

The band’s Web site said he died Tuesday of heart failure at his home in the Siberian city of Omsk.

The band’s name means “civil defense,” but often was referred to in short as “grob” — the Russian word for coffin.

The group was forbidden to play in public in Soviet times. But fans distributed cassettes of its songs including “Some Guy Got Killed by a Bus” and one that referred to Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin “rotting in his mausoleum.”

But Letov later became nostalgic for the Soviet Union and “in typically perverse fashion … recorded many songs in praise of Soviet life,” the RIA-Novosti news agency said.

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