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IZHEVSK, December 26, /ITAR-TASS/. Viktor Kalashnikov, a son of the deceased Russian small arms designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, said that his late father had urged the future generations to work hard in a behest he had left.
“We should work, work and once again work. He worked all his life until his last day,” Viktor Kalashnikov told journalists.
According to Viktor, he always remembered his dad at work.
Viktor said that his father would always be remembered for what he had done for Russia and the whole world.
He also noted that Mikhail Kalashnikov was a nice person who had aroused only good and kind feelings.
More than 60,000 people have paid their last respects to Mikhail Kalashnikov over the past two days. The arms designer died in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurt Republic, at the age of 94 after a long and heavy illness on December 23.
The farewell ceremony that was held at the St. Michael’s Cathedral in Izhevsk ended with a civilian memorial service. The coffin with Kalashnikov’s body was taken out of the church to the peal of bells and funeral music. A plane will deliver Kalashnikov’s body to Moscow later on Thursday.
Kalashnikov will be buried at the Federal Military Memorial Complex in Mytishchi near Moscow on December 27.
It is not surprising that the legendary arms designer will be interred there.
“He belongs not only to Russia and the Udmurt Republic but to the whole world. The decision was made at the very top and we agreed,” Kalashnikov’s son Viktor said.
The authorities of the Udmurt Republic have declared December 26 and 27 days of mourning.
Mikhail (Timofeyevich) Kalashnikov was born in Russia’s Altai region on November 10, 1919. His system of automatic small arms has been considered unrivaled in the world for the past 50 years. “I will be the first to shake a hand to a person who will design a better submachine gun,” Kalashnikov said more than thirty years ago. His famous phrase has now turned into a byword.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was the first in the world to design a whole range of uniform samples of automatic small arms identical in terms of automatics, internal design and principles of operation. They were introduced in the armed forces on a broad basis.
The Kalashnikov submachine gun is used in more than a hundred countries. It has been included in the list of outstanding inventions of the 20th century. A new enterprise, the Kalashnikov concern, is now bearing Mikhail Kalashnikov’s name. It has united the Izhmash plant and the Izhevsk mechanical plant under one brand.
During his life, Mikhail Kalashnikov wrote several autobiographical books. He continued working at the plant as chief designer until great age.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was the only person to be simultaneously awarded the titles of Hero of Russia and two-times Hero of Socialist Labour.