Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurt republic on the Izh river in the western Urals, is, with Tula, one of Russia’s ‘arms cities’. An ironworks was established there in 1743 and an armaments factory in 1800. The city was one of the USSR’s chief sources of weapons during the Second World War – or the Great Patriotic War as it is called in present-day Russia. Between 1984 and 1987 Izhevsk was called Ustinov. The city was notable in the twentieth century as the place of work of three of Europe’s most eminent weapon designers, whose products and careers are illustrated in the museum which opened in 2004. The museum takes its name from Mikhael Timofeevich Kalashnikov (1919-2013), inventor of the AK47 assault rifle, but also features Eugeniy Fodorivich Drugunov (1920-91), inventor of the SVD sniper rifle, and Gennadiy Nikolaevich Nikonov, designer of the AN94, the assault rifle of a new generation.