Rossiiskaya Gazeta said the organizing committee chose Putin as the winner to honor his role in creating the Kalashnikov Concern, which is one of the world’s biggest firearm manufacturers and produces 95 percent of Russia’s small arms.
The prize, named after AK-47 assault rifle inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov, is annually awarded to individuals and research teams in recognition of outstanding achievements in engineering and manufacturing of machinery. It was established in 1999 in Udmurtia, Kalashnikov’s home region.
The winner of the Kalashnikov Prize was chosen late last year, but the committee had to postpone the announcement following Kalashnikov’s death on December 23.
“We’ve waited for Mikhail Timofeyevich [Kalashnikov] to recover, but, unfortunately, a miracle didn’t happen,” said Ivan Rysin, a member of the organizing committee.
The prize of 50,000 rubles (about $1,400), along with a medal and a certificate, will be delivered to the president via the presidential administration, organizers said.