Medvedev decorates Gorbachev on 80th birthday
President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday decorated Mikhail Gorbachev with Russia's highest state honour on his 80th birthday, praising his contribution as the Soviet Union's last leader.
"This is the proper recognition of your enormous work as head of state," Medvedev said on decorating Gorbachev with the Andrei Pervozvanny order at the president's suburban Moscow residence.
"You headed our country in a very difficult, dramatic period," Medvedev said, adding that the decoration was a "symbol of the state's respect" for Gorbachev's work.
The Tsarist-era medal was restored as Russia's top honour in 1998.
© 2011 AFP