MOSCOW:-  Legendary Soviet children's writer and creator of the USSR's most popular cartoon characters Eduard Uspensky died in his home in the Moscow suburbs at the age of 80 late on Tuesday. Uspensky was most famous for his iconic cartoon characters Gena the Crocodile - a friendly crocodile who works at a zoo and plays the accordion - and Cheburashka, a strange brown-haired creature with large ears. Millions of children in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc watched the animated adventures of Gena the Crocodile, which first aired in 1969. Cheburashka first made an appearance in the cartoon in 1971.–AFP

The Kremlin on Wednesday said President Vladimir Putin sent a note with condolences to Uspensky's family.