New East Digital Archive

Moscow monument to Kalashnikov to be unveiled next week

Moscow monument to Kalashnikov to be unveiled next week

15 September 2017

A monument to engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, also known as the Kalashnikov rifle, will be unveiled in central Moscow on 19 September.

The seven-metre statue depicts Kalashnikov holding his invention, the AK-47, in his hands. The photo of the statue being finished by sculptor Salavat Scherbakov was published by the Kalashnikov Concern manufacturing company early this year, together with a quote from Scherbakov explaining that the inspiration and main idea behind the monument was that “personality-wise, Mikhail Timofeyevich was a modest man, and he is holding the assault rifle in his hands, admiring the perfect machine”.

Announced at the beginning of the year, the unveiling of the monument was initially planned for Victory Day on 9 May but was postponed indefinitely. The new date for the opening ceremony was announced ar the end of August, news which caused quite the controversy among Muscovites on social media. Many expressed doubts over the necessity of constructing a monument to someone best known for inventing an assault rifle, while others recalled that, prior to his death in 2013, Kalashnikov had been doubting the worthiness of his invention. He wrote in a letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill: “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?”