Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died in a U.S. hospital at the age of 84. The acclaimed writer’s health had reportedly taken a turn for the worse on Friday, and he passed away Saturday surrounded by his wife and two sons, Russian media reported, citing a friend of the family. Yevtushenko, born in Siberia in 1932, was critical of Josef Stalin and Soviet anti-Semitism in his early days as a poet, and he spoke out against the persecution of fellow writer Josef Brodsky in 1965. Brodsky later questioned his dedication to denouncing abuses in the Soviet Union, however, saying Yevushenko’s criticism was always in “acceptable” bounds. Yevtushenko emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and had been splitting his time between the States and Russia since 2007. He has asked to be buried in Moscow, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.