This month marks 100 years since the birth of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the famed Soviet inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle. For the Russian ministry of education, it is an opportunity to teach school-age children about Kalashnikov, who was hailed as a national hero and died in 2013 at the age of 94. The ministry says its Kalashnikov-themed school lessons are intended to promote Russian patriotism and an interest in national defense, but what does the weapon symbolise for people elsewhere around the world?
The Kalashnikov assault rifle was designed in 1947 and can fire up to 600 rounds per minute. It has been praised for its easy-to-use design, durability and low production cost. With more than 100 million in circulation, the AK-47 and its derivatives are viewed as the weapons of choice for both governments and guerillas.
In this episode, we'll discuss the AK-47's global legacy and how it changed warfare. Join the conversation
Conflict, material culture, weapon, international politcis