Inventor of AK-47 rifle Mikhail Kalashnikov dies

Inventor of AK-47 rifle Mikhail Kalashnikov dies
Mon Dec 23, 2013 22:11:49

The inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died at the age of 94, Russian officials say.

His invention earned him widespread admiration, but his legacy became more controversial when his weapons were used in some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts.

“It is difficult and sad to realize that Mikhail Kalashnikov is no longer with us. We have lost one of the most talented, memorable and committed patriots of Russia, who served his country throughout his life,” said the statement from the press secretary of the Udmurtia administration Viktor Chulkov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed "deep condolences" over his death.

Kalashnikov who continued working well into his nineties, had been suffering from heart and intestinal problems, and on November 17 was admitted to intensive care in Izhevsk - where the plant that produces the eponymous rifles is located. The official cause of death will be revealed following a mandatory autopsy.

A public funeral will be organized by the regional administration, in consultation with surviving relatives, though no date has been named so far.