An excerpt from The Guardian – 30ft-high statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov unveiled in Moscow (19-09-17)
Kalashnikov, a tank commander, created the AK-47 after hearing Soviet soldiers complain about the quality of their weapons. The first model was produced in 1947, earning Kalashnikov the Stalin prize and the Order of the Red Star.
Today, there are reported to be more than 100m Kalashnikov rifles in use worldwide. The weapon, which is favoured by both armies and militants, is said to be responsible for 250,000 deaths annually. An AK-47 appears on the flags of Mozambique and Hezbollah, as well as on the coats of arms of Zimbabwe and East Timor.