(NEW YORK) — Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, the Russian man credited with inventing the world’s most popular firearm, has died at the age of 94.
Arms designer Kalashnikov created the AK-47, a rifle used by military forces, guerrillas and terrorists worldwide. His role in its creation pushed Kalashnikov to top positions in Soviet arms manufacturing and eventually serving six terms on the Supreme Soviet, the legislative body of the Soviet Union, according to the New York Times.
While speaking out about the AK-47’s association with violent crime and terrorism, Kalashnikov had complained that former Soviet allies had been manufacturing imitations of the famed rifle illegally and that it was designed for the purpose of protecting his country, not to be used by terrorists.
“This is a weapon of defense,” he said, according to the New York Times. “It is not a weapon for offense.”
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Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN