Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the eponymous Kalashnikov assault rifle, is in an Izhevsk hospital with undisclosed health problems. The 94-year-old engineer has been hospitalized at least three times in the last year and spent most of the brief Russian summer in a Moscow clinic before being released in August . . .
Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown here meeting with Kalashnikov earlier this month just prior to the designer’s 94th birthday. When and if Mikhail Timofeyovich shuffles off to the Great Arms Factory In The Sky, we can expect a flood of misinformed media coverage. With that in mind, this would be a great time to read The Gun, C.J. Chivers’ excellent history of Kalashnikov and his invention, if you haven’t already.