Kalashnikov, who was in his 20s when he created the AK-47, died in his home city of Izhevsk near the Ural Mountains, where his gun is still made, a spokesman for the Udmurtia province’s president said on state television.
No cause of death was given. Kalashnikov was fitted with a pacemaker at a Moscow hospital in June and had been in hospital in Izhevsk since Nov. 17, state media reported.
Sombre music accompanied tributes that led evening news reports on state TV, and President Vladimir Putin expressed “deep sympathy” for Kalashnikov’s loved ones.
A son of Siberian peasants who never finished school, Kalashnikov invented one of the Soviet Union’s best-known and most imitated products.
Shortly after fighting in World War Two, he created the AK-47, whose number stands for the year 1947. The “A” is for “avtomat” – automatic rifle – and the “K” for Kalashnikov.