Putin skips Gorbachev's funeral

A funeral for Mikhail Gorbachev was held in Moscow on Saturday. Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Union.

Mourners laid flowers and paid their respects to the late leader, who brought the Cold War to an end. He died on Tuesday at the age of 91.

Russian President Vladimir Putin missed the ceremony. The presidential office said that Putin's "working schedule would not allow him to attend."

The presidential office stopped short of calling the farewell service a state funeral. It said the ceremony would have the "elements" of one.

The service was held as divisions remain between Russia and Western countries, due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attended the service. He has close ties to Moscow. The US ambassador to Russia was also present. Ambassadors from some European nations, who are stationed in Russia, attended as well.

Gorbachev was reportedly critical of Putin's authoritarian style of governance. He is also said to have expressed concerns about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Some local media outlets pointed out contrasts between Gorbachev's funeral and the state funeral given to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

A day of national mourning was declared for Yeltsin's funeral, after his death in 2007. His service was attended by Putin and foreign leaders.