The inventor of the iconic Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle apologised from his death bed about the millions of people it had killed.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, before he died, wrote a letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church shortly before his death in December saying he “feared he was to blame” for the untold millions it had been used against.
Over 100 million of the weapons have been sold across the globe and , and has become synonymous with civil wars, guerilla fighters, as well as terrorists.
The rifle brought Kalashnikov fame and a string of Russian awards as well as the Order of Lenin.
But he never made any money out of it and once said he would “ have been better off designing a lawnmower.”
Kalashnikov,who first started to design the rilfe in the Second World War, previously refused to accept responsibility for those killed by it.
But he wrote to the Patriarch of the Russian church said the designer felt a degree of guilt and “ spiritual pain” towards the end of his life for inventing the killing machine.
The letter published by Russian newspaper Izvestia quotes his daughter, Elena, saying she believes a priest helped her father compose the letter, which said:” My spiritual pain is unbearable.”
He asks: “I keep having the same unsolved question: if my rifle claimed people’s lives, then can it be that I... a Christian and an Orthodox believer, was to blame for their deaths?
“The longer I live “the more this question drills itself into my brain and the more I wonder why the Lord allowed man to have the devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression”.
The letter is typed on Kalashnikov’s own personal notepaper and with the wavering signature describing himself as “a slave of God, the designer Mikhail Kalashnikov”.