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IZHEBSK, December 25. /ITAR-TASS/. People in the city of Izhevsk, which is located to the west of the Ural Mountains, have bidden final farewell to the legendary Russian rifle-maker Mikhail Kalasahnikov, known every corner of the world as the person who designed the AK-47, probably the best automatic rifle of the 20th century.
Kalashnikov died Monday at the age of 94 after a durable illness.
The solemn ceremony was held in the St Archangel Michael’s cathedral in Izhevsk, which is located near by the museum and exhibition complex named after Kalasyhnikov.
Already in the in the first minutes of the remembrance service, more than 1,000 people gathered inside the church, the regional Interior Ministry said.
Kalashnikov’s family members, closest friends, the head of the region of Udmurtia, Alexander Volkov, members of the regional government and legislators, colleagues at the ordinance factory where he had worked for the greater part of his career, and rank-and-file residents of the city came to the farewell ceremony.
The coffin with the designer’s body was wrapped in Russia’s state flag.
Prior to the beginning of the ceremony, clerics of the St Michael’s Cathedral chanted a remembrance service. Metropolitan Nicholas of Izhevsk will lead a funeral liturgy at 08:00 hours Thursday,
Also Thursday, the coffin with the designer’s body will be taken by jet to Moscow where. He will be buried on the territory of the Federal Military Memorial Compound Saturday, December 27.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was admitted to the Udmurtian regional Center for Clinical Research and Diagnosing November 17, with the hospital’s officials describing his condition as heavy.
The AK-47 automatic rifle that was designed in 1947 and commissioned by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949 has two later modifications - AKM and AK-74. They also received acclaim in the Armed Forces all around the world.