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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Kalashnikov designed a weapon that became synonymous with killing on a sometimes indiscriminate scale Mikhail Kalashnikov holds his AK-47 in 2007
# Russia
AK-47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov dies
Kalashnikov designed a weapon that became synonymous with killing on a sometimes indiscriminate scale

MIKHAIL KALASHNIKOV, THE designer of the fabled AK-47 automatic rifle, has died.

Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported the news today, citing the office of the presidency in the Udmurtia region where he worked.

He was 94.

Kalashnikov designed a weapon that became synonymous with killing on a sometimes indiscriminate scale, but was seen in the Soviet Union as a national hero and symbol of Moscow’s proud military past.

The Telegraph reports that the former soldier was inspired by the drawbacks of Russian weaponry in World War II in deciding to invent the assault rifle.

The AK-47 was designed in 1947, when he was in his 20s, and over the course of his career he evolved the basic design into a ‘family of weapons’.

He famously said he “will be the first one to shake hand of the person who creates a better rifle”.

However, BBC News reports that he made little money from the gun and once remarked that he would have been better off designing a lawnmower.

Born in western Siberia in 1919, he was one of 18 children.

- additional reporting from AFP

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