Kalashnikov monument unveiled in Moscow

A monument honouring the creator of the famous AK-47 assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, was unveiled on Russia's Day of the Gunsmith, in central Moscow, Tuesday. The 7.5-metre (24.6-feet) monument, which depicts the iconic Russian gun inventor holding his rifle with both hands, was installed at the junction of Sadovaya-Karetnaya and Dolgorukovskaya streets on September 16. Russian Culture... Еще Minister Vladimir Medinski noted that the monument is «very unusual,» because Kalashnikov was «the [Russian inventor Ivan] Kulibin of the 20th century, the embodiment of the best features of the Russian man.» He went on to say that the Kalashnikov assault rifle is «a true cultural brand of Russia.» Arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov created his signature weapon the AK-74 in the 1970's in the Soviet Union. The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces in the 1979 Afghanistan conflict and has since become one of the most widespread small-arms weapons in the world. Between 70 to 105 million units of different types of Kalashnikov Assault Rifles are used in the armies of 55 countries worldwide. Kalashnikov died of heart problems in 2013, at the age of 94.

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