DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Mikhail Kalashnikov (aged 94)
-Inventor of the AK-47 machine gun
Lieutenant-General Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (10 November 1919 – 23 December 2013) was a Russian general, inventor, military engineer and small arms designer. He is most famous for developing the AK-47 assault rifleand its improvements, the AKM and AK-74, as well as the PK machine gun and RPK light machine gun.
DEATH: After a prolonged illness Kalashnikov was hospitalized on 17 November 2013, in an Udmurtian medical facility in Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtiaand where he lived. He died 23 December 2013, at age 94 from gastric hemorrhage. In January 2014 a letter that Kalashnikov wrote six months before his death to the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, was published by the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia. In the letter he stated that he was suffering “spiritual pain” about whether he was responsible for the deaths caused by the weapons he created. Translated from the published letter he states, “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?”