Mikhail Kalashnikov made a "Hero of the Russian Federation"

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Yesterday, on his 90th Birthday, Mikhail Kalashnikov was named “ Hero of the Russian Federation“. This award is the highest that can be bestowed on an individual by the Russian president. Kalashnikov has previously twice been awarded Hero of Socialist Labor that, which along with Hero of the Soviet Union, was replaced by Hero of the Russian Federation in 1992.

The Associated Press reports:

“Age is not significant. I have plenty of life left in me. But still, this is a special date and it needs to be celebrated,” the white-haired inventor said in remarks broadcast on Russian television.

Kalashnikov, whose tie was decorated with a metal pin shaped like an AK-47, smiled and read patriotic poetry to journalists in Izhevsk, his hometown located 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) east of Moscow.

A fine award for a great man.

Many thanks to Morten for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Komrad Komrad on Nov 13, 2009

    Kalashnikov got almost no money for his design, only pride and a few medals. USSR may not have been our friends but who could blame anyone for trying to help their country. Kalashnikov deserves his medals. Stoner may have been a fine man but if we gave an award to every brilliant inventor the award would lose it's importance. Just think of all the inventors just in the firearms field: Samuel Colt (revolver), John Garand (M1 Garand), John Browning(BAR ,A-5, pump shotguns, lever shotguns, Hi-Power, 1911, M1895 potato digger machine gun, M2 Browning Machine Gun, and many other revolutionary designs), Bill Ruger (10/22, .22 pistols, mini-14), and many others who have made significant contributions to the firearms industry. Personally I think John Browning needs a medal more than Stoner or Garand.

  • Carl Carl on Nov 14, 2009

    I'm sure all these inventors are a lot more honored by the success of their designs in the marketplace than the opinions of some government committee.