After a prolonged illness Kalashnikov was hospitalized on 17 November 2013, in an Udmurtian medical facility in Izhevsk , the capital of Udmurtia and where he lived. He died 23 December 2013, at age 94 from gastric hemorrhage .     In January 2014 a letter that Kalashnikov wrote six months before his death to the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church , Patriarch Kirill , was published by the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia .  In the letter he stated that he was suffering "spiritual pain" about whether he was responsible for the deaths caused by the weapons he created.  Translated from the published letter he states, "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 question we want to answer about this sterilization is why? The break up of Yugoslavia and ensuing conflict, very similar to today’s conflict in Syria saw an enormous diversity in the trade and manufacture of small arms, going in and going out of the conflict zones as all the various armed groups tried to get ahold of weapons to arm themselves with. Sterilization almost entirely is done to allow plausible deniability to the presence of a country’s small arms in another location. China in particular made entire batches of small arms with dedicated markings such as M21 on SKS’s, complete with actual serial numbers. These were fed into Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos during the Vietnam War. This is a photograph I took of while in Burma of one such example-
IRAQ: As requested by a Russian company operating as a civil contractor on behalf of the Iraq Ministry of Electricity, we provided security for both the personnel and the projects location, as well as convoy escort. This entailed providing security for a location in Basra, and for personnel traveling along the Basra – Kuwait border and along the Basra – Baghdad route. We provided protection within Baghdad to secure the electric power stations. We also provided convoys along the Basra – Kuwait border and along the Arbil – Baghdad – Basra and Baghdad – Basra routes.