Mikhail Timofeyevich was an Orthodox Christian. Light a candle in his memory at Liturgy, ask your priest to mention his name in the Proskomidi, and have Pannikhida said for him. That’s what real Christians do, and that’s what our duty is. That’s what God asks of us… not waving signs or condemning this one or that one. “Save your own soul and thousands will be saved about you“… that’s the ticket.
The burial of Russia’s most famous small-arms designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov took place Friday at a new military cemetery outside Moscow. Mikhail Timofeyevich died Monday at the age of 94. President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and a host of other high-ranking officials came to pay their respects at the funeral, held with full state honours at the Federal Military Memorial Complex in Mytishchi Raion. Putin laid red roses on the coffin and offered condolences to Kalashnikov’s family members. The military paid a fitting last tribute to Kalashnikov with salvoes fired from the AK-47, the iconic assault rifle that he designed, and which brought him lasting fame. At the funeral, Yelena Kalashnikova, daughter of the famed weapons designer, said that her father dedicated his whole life to the service of the Motherland and “never thought of anything else”. Initial plans called for Kalashnikov’s burial to take place in his hometown of Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurt Republic. However, the Russian leadership decided that the burial of a man who made such a significant contribution to the country’s defence and who held the title of Hero of Russia, amongst other honours, should be in a more prominent place. Over 60,000 people paid their last respects to Kalashnikov in two days of mourning in Izhevsk before the taking of his coffin to Moscow by plane on Thursday.
The Kalashnikov Group, the newly-formed small-arms holding that still manufactures derivatives of the AK-47, said that it plans to turn Kalashnikov’s office into a small museum and to set up an award bearing his name to honour its best branches and employees. Already, Izhevsk has a dedicated Kalashnikov museum, opened in 2004, that includes a range where visitors can fire air gun copies of AK series weapons on a range. An estimated 100 million AK-47s were built worldwide since it went into mass production in February 1947. In at least 55 countries, armed forces, guerilla groups, terrorists, and even common thugs still favour the reliable and easy-to-use assault rifle. Thirty countries, including Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, and South Africa, make derivatives of the AK-47, which has a vodka and even a rap song named after it.
27 December 2013