MYTISCHI (the Moscow region), December 27, 19:35 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian small arms designer Mikhail Kalshnikov was buried at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery in Mytischi, the Moscow region, on Friday.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Kalashnikov’s family were present at the funeral.
The coffin with Kalashnikov’s body mounted on a gun-carriage passed through the cemetery’s central alley to the burial site.
“Today, we are saying good-bye to an outstanding person - a symbol of Russia,” Arkady Bakhin, Russia’s first deputy defense minister, said at the funeral.
Kalashnikov’s daughter Elena said in turn that her father had devoted his life to serving his Motherland and could not live in any other way.
“I think that he is the last person in a gigantic row of arms designers whose creative talent was woken up by WWII,” she said.
Salvos from the Kalashnikov AK-47 submachine guns were fired to pay the last respects to their designer.
In the meantime, Viktor Kalashnikov, son of the deceased Russian small arms designer, said earlier, on December 26, that his late father had urged the future generations to work hard in a behest he had left.
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 paid their last respects to Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Udmurt Republic in 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 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.