The AK-47 is now a “weapon of peace,” according to a new rebranding campaign launched Tuesday by the Kalashnikov Concern.
Along with the iconic rifle, the Russian weapons manufacturer is attempting to change the perception of all the military, police, hunting and sporting firearms it produces.
“The Kalashnikov is a Russian symbol that is known across the world,” said Alexei Krivoruchko, Kalashnikov’s chief executive at the press event. “The rebranding is a symbol of changes in the way our business works and our product lines that have been long in the making. The new brand will reflect our main principles: reliability, responsibility and technological efficiency.”
The rebranding comes as the Kalashnikov Concern, abbreviated as C.K., officially becomes the umbrella company for three formerly disparate manufacturers: Kalashnikov, Izhmash and Baikal.
Unfortunately for U.S. consumers the Obama administration embargoed the import of C.K. products back in July due to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Prior to the sanctions, C.K. had penned a deal to supply between 80,000 to 200,000 firearms a year, for the next five years, to a U.S. importer. That deal is still on hold, according to Krivoruchko.
A video was released to celebrate the new Kalashnikov Concern. In it, the AK-47 was highlighted as a force for good in the world.
“The gun was made for the defence of a country that was living through the cold war and had to be prepared for a major intervention,” says the video voiceover. “The simple and reliable AK was also in demand well beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.
“It precipitated not just a technological but a social revolution. Freedom movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America could at last fight back against professional colonial armies. The AK-47 gave them the chance to demand rights and achieve justice. This is a weapon which helped people defend their families and futures, and demand the right to a peaceful future.”