Mikhail Kalashnikov, the infamous inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, has died in Russia. He was 94-years-old.
The weapon designed by Kalashnikov, also known as the AK-47, became one of the most used guns in the world, brandished by soldiers, insurgents, militants and guerrillas in cities and battlefields around the globe. More than 100 million AK-47 rifles are reportedly in existence.
@Channel4News AK47 - simple enough for kids to use - explains why I've seen so many doing so. Rest in torment Kalashnikov.— alex thomson (@alextomo) December 23, 2013
What made Kalashnikov’s weapon so widespread were the relatively low costs of its manufacture as well as its high durability, firing in both wet and sandy conditions and rarely locking. Despite the design's ubiquity the inventor himself reportedly made little money from his invention.
According to RT, Kalashnikov had been in hospital since November 17 in Izhevsk, Russia, having suffered from heart troubles in recent years.
Despite the death and bloodshed wrought by the AK-47, Kalashnikov remained unrepentant about his most famous invention. Speaking in 2007, he said: "I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence."
The gun's ruggedness made it popular among desert fighters around the world, with the Soviet Union flooding many Third World countries with AK-47s as Moscow-backed proxies fought their Western-backed counterparts during the Cold War. So popular proved the weapon that the Soviets granted licenses for 30 other countries to manufacturer the weapon. It even sits emblazoned on the flag of Mozambique.
WARNING: Strong Language