Legendary Kalashnikov dies

Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov, the famous constructor and creator of small arms, died in Udmurtia being 94 years old. He died after a siege of illness, in intensive care unit of Udmurtia Republican Hospital.

On November 10 Mikhail Kalashnikov celebrated his 94th birthday. Kalashnikov is the Hero of Russia and twice Hero of Socialist Labor, holder of more than 15 orders, 20 medals, laureate of Stalin Award. Lifetime monument to Kalashnikov is installed in Izhevsk city. The memory of the constructor will be immortalized in his native village of Kurya in Altai Krai region — there is already a Museum the world-famous gunsmith.

Mikhail Kalashnikov designed his famous assault rifle in 1947; two years later, the Soviet Army adopted the weapon. The first version is usually called AK-47, though this denomination does not appear in official documents. Mikhail Kalashnikov continued to work on his assault rifle; in 1959 Soviet forces adopted AKM — the modernized Kalashnikov assault gun that boasted greater stability and reliability. In the 1970s, further modification of the submachine gun, the AK-74, was developed for the new cartridges. Both AKM and AK-74 (plus their modifications) are still in the inventory of the Russian army. In the 1990s, a so-called “hundredth” model of Kalashnikovs has appeared. For 60 years, over 70 million of Kalashnikovs was manufactured. They serve the military of 50 countries.

Елизавета Будько


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