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AK47 designer Kalashnikov dies at 94

AK 47 Rifle Mikhail KalashnikovMikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the infamous AK47 Kalashnikov assault rifle passed away on Monday, at ninety-four years of age. According to a report from the BBC he had been receiving medical attention for internal bleeding since November. His death took place in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic, east of Moscow.

The world’s most popular firearm

Kalashnikov’s name will live forever in the name of the globe’s most popular firearm: the AK-47 – which stands for ‘Avtomat Kalashnikov’ and the year that it was produced. Approximately 100 million guns are said to have been produced to-date.

Born in 1919 in western Siberia, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov was one of 18 children. After working as a railroad clerk in his younger years, he joined the Red Army in 1938. There he was instrumental in making various modifications for Soviet tanks. The AK-47 was born after five years of thought, following the 1941 battle of Bryansk against Nazi forces.

“I sleep well at night”!

Rifle bullets“Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer. I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery,” Kalashnikov is said to have said.

He is known to have refused to take responsibility for the deaths caused by his creation. “I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence,” he said in 2007. However in 2008 he says, “It is painful for me to see when criminal elements of all kinds fire from my weapon.”

Kalashnikov worked as chief designer at the Izhevsk firm that first built the AK-47, well into his late 80s. He had received numerous state honours, including the Order of Lenin and the Hero of Socialist Labour. His invention however was never patented and his didn’t receive riches on par with the popularity that the AK-47 holds.

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