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Mr AK-47 turns 90

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Mr AK-47 turns 90


The father of the gun adored by revolutionaries around the world turns 90 today. Mikhail Kalashnikov, who lives in Izhevsk, over a thousand miles east of Moscow, travelled to the Kremlin to receive Russia’s highest award. President Medvedev presented him with the Hero’s Star.

Speaking of his invention, Kalashnikov said: “Everything that’s complicated is unnecessary, everything that’s necessary is simple. That’s always been my motto” He suffered under Stalin’s purges, with his father being deported when he was young. Kalashnikov started working on the iconic gun in 1947, after German soldiers with better weapons defeated the Red Army in early battles during the Second World War. The famous rifle is used by armies in many countries, as well as countless fighting groups and terrorists. In its various forms, there are more than 100 million of these virtually indestructible weapons. They are still produced in his hometown of Izhevsk.

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