AK-47 assault rifles inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, dies at 94

Breaking News — Inventor of Kalashnikov assault rifles, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died.

By Hemant Abhishek | Last Updated: Dec 24, 2013, 02:28 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Moscow: The inventor of Kalashnikov assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, died on Monday, Russian TV reports said.

He was 94 years old.

Also Read: Who was Mikhail `AK-47` Kalashnikov?

“Today news sad news has arrived that Mikhail Kalashnikov has died after a lengthy illness,” read a statement released by the Udmurtia administration.
Kalashnikov had been admitted in an ICU in the Siberian city of Izhevsk last Monday and was being treated at the state cardiology centre of republic of Udmurtia. 

Kalashnikov`s health began to worsen around the time of his birthday on November 10, his son, his son Viktor said. 

Mikhail has been suffering from old-age related problems for some time now. He spent two weeks at a local cardiology clinic in May and was later flown to Moscow for further treatment. He was hospitalised in Moscow and was fitted with a pacemaker in June. 

The Avtomat Kalashnikova-47 (AK-47) is the world`s most widely used firearm with an estimated 100 million spread worldwide. 

Though it is not especially accurate, its ruggedness and simplicity are exemplary: it performs in sandy or wet conditions that jam more sophisticated weapons such as the US M-16.

"During the Vietnam war, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s to grab AK-47s and bullets for it from dead Vietnamese soldiers," Kalashnikov said in July 2007 at a ceremony marking the rifle`s 60th anniversary.

The weapon`s suitability for jungle and desert fighting made it nearly ideal for the Third World insurgents backed by the Soviet Union, and Moscow not only distributed the AK-47 widely but also licensed its production in some 30 other countries.

The gun`s status among revolutionaries and national-liberation struggles is enshrined on the flag of Mozambique.