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Putin's farewell to weapons legend Kalashnikov

December 27, 2013, 16:09 UTC+3 MYTISHCHI (Moscow region)
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MYTISHCHI (Moscow region), December 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said goodbye to late and legendary arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov during a service at the federal military memorial cemetery where the famous Russian arms designer will be buried.

The president laid dark red roses at Kalashnikov's lying in state, his head bowed in honour of Kalashnikov and raised to address the two daughters and the son.

Putin was accompanied by the head of Russia's presidential staff, Sergey Ivanov, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, head of the Russian Technologies Rostech state corporation Sergey Chemezov and other high-ranking officials during a day when prayers were also said in church.

The famous arms designer died after a long illness in the Ural city of Izhevsk on December 23, aged 95.

His passing was first marked on December 24-25 when some 60,000 Izhevsk residents paid their respects and the republic of Udmurtia declared days of mourning on December 26 and 27.

During his career, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov designed about 150 types of weapon which were put into service in more than 100 countries. He designed the famous AK assault rifle in 1949, mistakenly named worldwide as the AK-47.

The AK brought global acclaim to Kalashnikov, entering the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific weapon. This gun figures on national flags, national emblems and the banknotes of several countries. More than 100 automatic rifles have been developed out of its design.

Kalashnikov was awarded the military rank of Lieutenant General. He was granted the scientific degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences, the titles of Honoured Soviet Worker of the Military Industry and Honoured Man of Science and Technologies in his home republic.

The designer was an academician of Russian and foreign academies. He was president of the Russian Union of Armourers and a consultant to the general director of the Russian arms exporting company Rosoboronexport.

Kalashnikov was awarded titles of Hero of Russia and two-times Hero of Socialist Labour. He was a laureate of the State Prize and the Lenin Prize.

Alongside weapons, the arms manufacturing plant Kalashnikov took his name in 2013. This was established founded on the Izhmash armoury where Kalashnikov began his long working career.

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