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Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid tribute to former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev.

The man who was credited with ending the Cold War died last night (August 30) aged 91.

The eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1985 until 1991.

READ MORE: Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev dies aged 91

And now Putin has said: "He led our country during a period of complex, dramatic changes, large-scale foreign policy, economic and social challenges.

"He deeply understood that reforms were necessary, he strove to offer his own solutions to urgent problems."

The despotic leader also praised Gorbachev for his "great humanitarian, charitable, education activities".

In recent years, Gorbachev had slammed Russia's current President Vladimir Putin.

Not only was he against Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, he also slammed him for essentially destroying the freedoms brought to the country after the fall of the Soviet Union by Gorbachev.

He said: "I actually supported Putin during his first term as president, but then relations between us soured.

"Not everything is going well. I think he should change his style and make adjustments to the regime."

It was also claimed that he was "upset" with Putin over his decision to invade Ukraine earlier this year.

A close friend of his told a local radio station in July: "This was his life’s work. Freedoms were brought by Gorbachev.

"Everyone forgot who gave freedom to the Russian Orthodox Church. Who was it? Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.

"The freedom of press, the first media law, who brought it? Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.

"Private property? Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev."

The exact cause of Gorbachev's death is unknown, but it was first announced in Russia by Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital.

It is not clear why he was in hospital, but he was known to be suffering from age-related health issues in recent years.

Within minutes of his death being announced, his name was trending on Twitter.

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