On December 23, 2013 Vladimir Putin expressed deep condolences to the family and friends of Mikhail Kalashnikov on his passing.
Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian: Михаи́л Тимофе́евич Кала́шников; 10 November 1919 – 23 December 2013) was a Russian general and small arms designer, most famous for developing the AK-47 assault rifle and its improvements, AKM and AK-74, as well as the PK machine gun.
The message reads, in part:
“This is an enormous irreparable loss for all of us. Gone is a man of extraordinary talent and commitment, a figure of historical importance, a Russian original. The weapon he created has served Russia reliably and will continue to do so for a long time to come, and it will forever remain a symbol of the Russian Army’s victorious traditions.
Mikhail Kalashnikov pursued his calling with single-minded dedication and commanded the most profound respect. He gave liberally of his ideas and expertise to young specialists and was a tireless public activist.
We shall forever retain a fond memory of Mikhail Kalashnikov, a man who performed his duty to Russia with great integrity until the very end.”
The legendary small arms designer, a Hero of Russia, twice Hero of Socialist Labour, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Kalashnikov died on December 23 in Izhevsk at the age of 94.
Source: Kremlin press release http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6438
See related article: Designer of the Popular Kalashnikov rifle dies in hospital http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304020704579276314199448756?mod=e2fb