Soviet writer Eduard Uspensky, who created the world-famous Cheburashka character, died in Moscow aged 80.
Born in 1937, Uspensky grew up to be one of the funniest Soviet writers and the most recognizable names in children’s literature.
Best known for writing children's books, his most celebrated characters were the duo Cheburashka and Crocodile Gena — two animal friends. Cheburashka, a made-up animal which resembles a mix of a monkey and a lemur, has become famous in some countries outside the Soviet Union, including Japan.
One of the songs in the cartoon, composed by Soviet musician Vladimir Shainsky who died last year, has been adopted as Russia's main birthday tune.
In the 1970s, Uspensky wrote the book "Uncle Fyodor, dog and cat", which formed the basis for three animated films.
In addition to children's books, he also wrote plays and poems.
He was one of the creators of the television programmes "Good Night, Kids!" and "In our harbour came ships", the latter of which won the TEFI prize in 2000.
About 60 cartoons are based on books and scripts, written by Uspensky.
Social media users have been posting tributes to the writer.