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Moscow statue honouring AK-47 creator features GERMAN gun

A statue in Moscow built to honour the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle has attracted scorn after it was found to feature a German gun. 

Workers had to cut out part of the new monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the Soviet Union’s legendary assault rifle, after eagle-eyed Russians noticed it mistakenly depicted a Nazi weapon from the Second World War.   

Just last week, the monument – which reportedly cost £450,000 – was unveiled with much fanfare in central Moscow.

Just last week, the monument – which reportedly cost £450,000 – was unveiled with much fanfare in central Moscow

Soon after Moscow-based historian Yuri Pasholok blasted Shcherbakov for the statue, pointing out in a Facebook post that it featured a German StG 44 assault rifle 

Soon after Moscow-based historian Yuri Pasholok blasted Shcherbakov for the statue, pointing out in a Facebook post that it featured a German StG 44 assault rifle 

Workers had to cut out part of the new monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the Soviet Union's legendary assault rifle, after eagle-eyed Russians noticed it mistakenly depicted a Nazi weapon from the Second World War

Workers had to cut out part of the new monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the Soviet Union’s legendary assault rifle, after eagle-eyed Russians noticed it mistakenly depicted a Nazi weapon from the Second World War

A metal bas-relief behind a statue of Kalashnikov depicts the AK-47 and other weapons said to have been designed by the engineer, who died in 2013.

But on Friday, embarrassed sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov had to admit that among them was the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG 44) assault rifle used by Nazi troops.

‘We will rectify this,’ Shcherbakov said in comments broadcast by state-run Rossiya 24 channel. ‘It looks like this (mistake) sneaked in from the Internet.’

He added: ‘This is a very small background thing. I even wonder how they noticed it. We took it from a source where it was written “Kalashnikov assault rifle”.’

But this is not the first time the sculptor has put a German gun on a Russian statue. 

In 2014, a Mauser 98 rifle appeared on a monument he designed showing a Soviet soldier heading to fight the Nazis.  

By Friday evening, a square hole gaped where the German StG 44 had been depicted in the bas-relief.

The Moscow statue is pictured before and after workers removed a fragment showing an StG 44 assault rifle 

The Moscow statue is pictured before and after workers removed a fragment showing an StG 44 assault rifle 

The AK-47, the small-arms mainstay of Russia's armed forces for over 60 years, is called by some experts the most effective weapon ever made

The AK-47, the small-arms mainstay of Russia’s armed forces for over 60 years, is called by some experts the most effective weapon ever made

Mikhail Kalashnikov's weapon (pictured being held by its owner), created in 1947, does have a striking resemblance to German arms designer Hugo Schmeissers's StG 44 rifle, created in 1942, although they have major design differences

Mikhail Kalashnikov’s weapon (pictured being held by its owner), created in 1947, does have a striking resemblance to German arms designer Hugo Schmeissers’s StG 44 rifle, created in 1942, although they have major design differences

It came a day after Moscow-based historian Yuri Pasholok blasted Shcherbakov for the statue. 

In a Facebook post, he said: ‘Just don’t say that this was an accident. You should be beaten, painfully and publicly, for something like this. These are boy-sculptors, dammit.’

Scherbakov acknowledged the discrepancy the same day, admitting that it was a mistake. 

In 2014 the sculptor was embroiled in scandal after a German Mauser 98 rifle was mistakenly depicted on his monument of a Soviet soldier leaving for the front.    

In 2014 sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov (pictured) was embroiled in scandal after a German Mauser 98 rifle was mistakenly depicted on his monument of a Soviet soldier leaving for the front

In 2014 sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov (pictured) was embroiled in scandal after a German Mauser 98 rifle was mistakenly depicted on his monument of a Soviet soldier leaving for the front

Kalashnikov’s weapon, created in 1947, does have a striking resemblance to German arms designer Hugo Schmeissers’s StG 44 rifle, created in 1942, although they have major design differences.

Kalashnikov was known to have said he had heard speculation that he had copied the German rifle.

Vladislav Kononov, executive director of the Russian Military and Historical Society, was cited by Russian media as saying that the fact that angry Russians had spotted the error in the relief disproved that. Many had earlier vented their disapproval on social media.

‘Every cloud has its silver lining – thanks to this mistake … a myth has been destroyed that Kalashnikov borrowed some elements of his invention from his foreign colleagues,’ he said.

The AK-47, the small-arms mainstay of Russia’s armed forces for over 60 years, is called by some experts the most effective weapon ever made.

Every fifth firearm in the world is a Kalashnikov, with more than 70 million of the assault rifles produced over the past 60 years, the Kalashnikov Concern manufacturer said on its website. Kalashnikovs are in service in 50 foreign armies, it added.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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