MOSCOW, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was buried Friday in Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery in a service attended by Russia's top leaders.
President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were on hand as Chernomyrdin, who died Wednesday at age 72, was laid to rest beside his wife, Valentina Chernomyrdina, who died this year.
"He served all his duties with honor, and perhaps the most difficult test for him was to lead the government in 1990s," Medvedev said.
"His government held very difficult reforms in the country," Putin said. "Viktor Stepanovych [Chernomyrdin] was a strong politician."
After serving as prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin from 1992 to 1998, Chernomyrdin was appointed Russian ambassador to Ukraine in 2001, a post he held until 2009, when he was named the president's special envoy for economic cooperation with former Soviet countries.
Novodevichy is the burial site of many of Russia's political and cultural luminaries, including Yeltsin, Nikita Khrushchev and Anton Chekhov.