Russians lay flowers outside the Cuban embassy in Moscow in tribute to Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States. Subtitled Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
SUBTITLED ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Russians laid flowers and tied ribbons outside the Cuban embassy in Moscow on Saturday (November 26) in tribute to Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States. Castro died on Friday (November 25) aged 90, his younger brother and successor Raul Castro announced on state television. For many Russians, Cuba remains a long-term ally which the Soviet Union propped up economically and politically. "Of course it is a pity. It is a pity that such a person has passed away. We all know of him, what type of leader he was, what an orator, how beautifully he spoke. People in Cuba really loved him, they couldn't live without him. He enchanted them with his speech. Of course it is a pity that he is gone. A world leader is gone. Under America's nose to create Cuba - for America she was a threat," said Natalia, a Moscow resident. "We have known this person since our childhood and we thought really well of him. We thought he was the leader, the successor of Che Guevara, so all that is left to do is to mourn it," added her husband, Viktor. But in death just as in life he divided opinion. "A wonderful beautiful island that was famous all around the world - he destroyed it," said Grigory, an engineer in Moscow. "He created a structure that is not suitable for life. I am on the other side. Of course it is bad that he died, but I think this will be a huge push for Cuba's development." Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, said in a statement that Castro left a lasting mark on his country and on world history. In a telegram of condolence to Raul Castro, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the late leader an "inspiring example for many countries". "Fidel Castro was a frank and tried and true friend of Russia," the Kremlin quoted the message as saying.