The inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov died yesterday aged 94, Russian officials say. The automatic rifle he designed became one of the world’s most familiar and widely used weapons.
Although honoured by the state, Kalashnikov made little money from his gun. He once said he would have been better off designing a lawn mower. Kalashnikov was admitted to hospital with internal bleeding in November.
Kalashnikov refused to accept responsibility for the many people killed by his weapon, blaming the policies of other countries that acquired it.
However, pride in his invention was tempered with sadness at its use by criminals and child soldiers.
“It is painful for me to see when criminal elements of all kinds fire from my weapon,” Kalashnikov said in 2008. BBC