Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences following the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's long-time leader and a prominent political figure, the Kremlin press service said.

Mandela's name is inseparably linked with an entire epoch in Africa's modern history, which witnessed the victory over apartheid and the establishment of the Republic of South Africa as a democratic state, Putin said in his message.

Despite the hardships, Mandela stayed true to the ideals of humanism and justice until the end of his life, the Russian president said.

Putin once again applauded Mandela's role in promoting friendly relations between Russia and South Africa, which are strategic partners today.

Putin's message is addressed to South African President Jacob Zuma and offers the words of sympathy and support to Mandela's family, the government and the people of South Africa.

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