Mikhail Gorbachev honoured by Kremlin on 80th birthday

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Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has been given Russia's highest award, the Order of St Andrew, to mark his 80th birthday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the award was for his "enormous work as head of state" when they met at a presidential residence outside Moscow.

Mr Gorbachev played a key role in dismantling the Iron Curtain.

But many Russians revile him for the economic meltdown and conflicts after the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

An FOM opinion poll released last week suggested that 52% believed he had done Russia more harm than good, while just 11% took a positive view of his actions.....

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