A monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the prolific assault rifle that bears his name, has been unveiled in Moscow.
Kalashnikov died in 2013 aged 94 in the city of Izhevsk where he lived.
He was the creator of the AK-47 assault rifle, the world’s most popular firearm.
An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide.
Kalashnikov came up with the idea of inventing a new automatic rifle that could work in all conditions after becoming disgruntled by the Soviet weaponry as he recovered from an injury during WWII.
Eventually that led to the creation of the AK-47 short in Russian for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947 (Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle 1947).
Known for its simplicity, the gun became a symbol for independence struggles and leftist radicals around the world during the Cold War.
Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said at the monument’s opening on Tuesday that the Kalashnikov rifle has become “Russia’s cultural brand”.
The monument in Moscow shows Kalashnikov cradling his rifle.
Kalashnikov was born into a peasant family in Siberia, began brooding about a new rifle design after being wounded in a 1941 battle against Nazi forces, and finished it in 1947.
Six months before his death at age 94, he wrote to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, expressing regret for his role in making the world’s most commonly used rifle.
The inventor wrote the tortured letter to the head of the church.
Kalashnikov insisted his “spiritual pain is unbearable.” “I keep having the same unsolved question:
If my rifle claimed people’s lives, then can it be that I…a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths?”
It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence.”