Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov [Russian: Михаил Тимофеевич Калашников] (10 November 1919 – 23 December 2013) was a Russian general and small arms designer, most famous for developing the AK-47 assault rifle.
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- I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists. … I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.
- I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence.
- Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer … I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery.
- As quoted in "AK-47 Inventor Says Conscience Is Clear" by Joel Roberts at CBS News (6 July 2007)
- When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, "All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed" ... So this has been my lifetime motto – I have been creating weapons to defend the borders of my fatherland, to be simple and reliable.
- Whenever I look at TV and I see the weapon I invented to defend my motherland in the hands of these bin Ladens, I ask myself the same question: "How did it get into their hands?" I didn't put it in the hands of bandits and terrorists, and it's not my fault that it has mushroomed uncontrollably across the globe. Can I be blamed that they consider it the most reliable weapon?
For Patriotism and Profit (2001)
- Quotes of Kalashnikov, from "For Patriotism and Profit", by Robert Fisk, in World Press Review, Vol.48, No.7 (July 2001)
- I was in the hospital, and a soldier in the bed beside me asked: "Why do our soldiers have only one rifle for two or three of our men, when the Germans have automatics?" So I designed one. I was a soldier, and I created a machine gun for a soldier. It was called an Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov — AK — and it carried the date of its first manufacture, 1947.
- You see, maybe all these feelings come about because one side wants to liberate itself with arms. But in my opinion, it is the good that prevails. You may live to see the day when good prevails — it will be after I am dead. But the time will come when my weapons will be no more used or necessary.
- My aim was to create armaments to protect the borders of my motherland. It is not my fault that the Kalashnikov became very well-known in the world; that it was used in many troubled places. I think the policies of these countries are to blame, not the designers. Man is born to protect his family, his children, his wife. But I want you to know that apart from armaments, I have written three books in which I try to educate our youth to show respect for their families, for old people, for history.
- "Mikhail Kalashnikov: 'I sleep soundly'"– interview with Mikhail Kalashnikov at the age of 83, in The Guardian (9 October 2003)
- "Kalashnikov backs weapons control" in BBC News (26 June 2006)
- BBC NEWS Profile: Mikhail Kalashnikov
- Free illustrated virtual guided tour of the Museum of Mikhail Kalashnikov
- Mikhail Kalashnikov with Elena Joly: The Gun that Changed the World
- "Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, weapons inventor, died on 23 December, aged 94" in The Economist (11 January 2014)