News / Europe

Kalashnikov Assault Rifle Designer Dies

FILE - Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, in Izhevsk Sept. 18, 2013.
FILE - Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, in Izhevsk Sept. 18, 2013.
Reuters
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the assault rifle that has killed more people than any other firearm in the world, died on Monday aged 94, Russian officials said.

Kalashnikov, who was in his 20s when he created the AK-47 just after World War II, died in his home city of Izhevsk near the Ural Mountains, where his gun is still made, a spokesman for the Udmurtia province's president said on state television.

The spokesman did not give the cause of death. Kalashnikov was fitted with a electric heartbeat stimulator at a Moscow hospital in June and had been in hospital in Izhevsk since Nov. 17, state media reported.

The AK-47, which rarely jams even in adverse conditions, went into service in the Soviet armed forces in 1949. Today, Kalashnikov rifles are still a mainstay of Russia's armed forces and police.

Known as the weapon of choice for guerrillas, the gun and its imitations have been used in conflicts around the world for decades.

At a lavish Kremlin ceremony on Kalashnikov's 90th birthday, then-President Dmitry Medvedev bestowed on him the highest state honor - the Hero of Russia gold star medal - and lauded him for creating “the national brand every Russian is proud of."

Kalashnikov, a son of Siberian peasants who never finished school, said pride in his iconic invention was mixed with the pain of seeing it used by criminals and child soldiers.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid