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Gorbachev Debunks Death Reports

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has denied rumors of his death after hackers planted a false report on the Twitter accounts of a Russian state news agency.

Gorbachev's response came after two Twitter accounts of RIA Novosti posted reports of his death.

Gorbachev, who was the last leader of the Soviet Union, told the website of the "Novaya gazeta" newspaper late on August 7 that he was "alive and well," adding that his ill-wishers were "hoping in vain" for his demise.

RIA Novosti said that the Twitter accounts of its news center and its German-language service had been hacked into, but that the false reports were online for only five minutes before the agency removed them.

Gorbachev, 82, has been having health problems recently.

With reporting by AFP, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS