The man behind the Kalashnikov assault rifle was seemingly tormented by the people it killed, it has emerged.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, who died last month aged 94, wrote to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church suggesting he felt personally responsible for the deaths it has caused.
The Kalashnikov, or AK-47, is one of the world’s most common weapons and it is thought more than 100 million have been sold.
Kalashnikov’s letter to Patriarch Krill in May 2012 was published in Russian newspaper Izvestia.
Kalashnikov wrote: “I keep having the same unsolved question: if my rifle claimed people’s lives, then can it be that I… a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths?
“The longer I live, the more this question drills itself into my brain and the more I wonder why the Lord allowed man to have the devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression.”
Yet it contradicts what Kalashnikov said while he was alive – that deaths from the AK47 were not his fault.