Kalashnikov is a folk hero in Russia, and this statue is bound to be very popular. He was also a devout Christian
While Americans are busy pulling down their statues, the Russian are putting new ones up all over the place.
WW2 Tank Commander Mikhail Kalashnikov was one of the most legendary weapons designers in history. Never before, since the invention of the spear, has a weapon been so prolific as the AK-47 and its variants. But did you know that Kalashnikov was also a devout Christian?
In his later years, Mikhail was devastated that his weapon was used by evil men, but he took solace in the knowledge that it was also used to destroy evil, and defend the Motherland.
Like other famous weapons designers Nobel and Oppenheimer, he was deeply conflicted, and in an attempt to find redemption, he wrote a letter to Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Church, saying:
“My soul ache is unbearable and has one irresolvable question: if my rifle took lives, does it mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, aged 93, a peasant woman’s son, an Orthodox Christian in faith, am guilty of those people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?”
Here is a 1-minute video showing great footage of the statue - full transcript follows below.
And now, let's talk about how Gunsmith Day is celebrated in the Capital. The main event was the unveiling of a monument to legendary gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov.
The 8-meter tall monument is located on the Garden Ring, near Oruzheyny Lane. Georgy Podgorny observed the grand ceremony.
He is now live. Georgy, hello, give us some details.
Dear colleagues, let's begin by determining who Mikhail Kalashnikov was. He is a worldwide famous legend. His creation, AK has been accepted for service since late 1940s.
That's when he received the Stalin Award. He is the only person, who's honored as the Hero of Russia and twice as the Hero of Socialist Labor.
They say he was very humble, even too humble. The only luxury he bought with his award money was a GAZ-M20 Pobeda car. He used it to go hunting and fishing.
Today is the unveiling of his monument, and Russia's Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said during the ceremony that Kalashnikov's legacy lives on, it's a global trademark.
Also, Moscow Deputy Mayor mentioned that thanks to this monument, a new attraction for citizens has been created.
In spite of Kalashnikov's high rank as Major General, the monument shows him in his civil clothing. He's holding his masterpiece, AK-47, as a violin.
The sculptor, Salavat Shcherbakov, who's famous for his work on the monument to Vladimir the Great, tried to express the constant battle between good and evil in this masterpiece.
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