A towering monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the prolific assault rifle that bears his name, has been unveiled in Moscow.
Kalashnikov died in 2013 at age 94 in the city of Izhevsk where he lived. He has received accolades as the creator of the AK-47 assault rifle, the world’s most popular firearm. An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide.
Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said at the monument’s opening Tuesday that the Kalashnikov rifle has become “Russia’s cultural brand.”
The monument in downtown Moscow shows Kalashnikov cradling his rifle.
Kalashnikov, born into a peasant family in Siberia, began brooding about a new rifle design after being wounded in a 1941 battle against Nazi forces, and finalized it in 1947.