MOSCOW: Russian officials and Orthodox priests on Tuesday (Sep 19) unveiled a statue in Moscow of inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose iconic AK-47 assault rifle has claimed countless lives worldwide.
A priest sprinkled holy water on the seven-metre tall statue of Kalashnikov gripping his deadly creation, which will now loom over motorists from a traffic island in one of the sprawling capital’s central thoroughfares.
Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky praised the inventor and called the rifle – which has been reproduced an estimated 100 million times worldwide – a “cultural brand for Russia.”
Kalashnikov had “the best traits of a Russian: an extraordinary natural gift, simplicity, integrity,” Medinsky said.
Born in a Siberian village in 1919, Mikhail Kalashnikov died in December 2013 in Izhevsk, the capital of the Russian republic of Udmurtia, where he lived.
Kalashnikov came up with the idea of inventing a new automatic rifle that could work in all conditions after becoming disgruntled by …