Kalashnikov Rebrands Itself as Modern Protector of the Peace

By Gary Cutlack on at

Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov wants to shed its current image of supplier of choice to terrorists around the world, rebranding itself as a company making useful shooty gadgets designed to help in "protecting peace" around the world.

Despite the fact that US sanctions over Russia's action in Ukraine have stopped the rifles being imported to the key animal-killing US and Canadian markets, Kalashnikov's parent company has ordered a marketing firm to come up with a new logo and pitch the gun maker as a global force for good.

Kalashnikov's chief executive Alexei Krivoruchko said: "The Kalashnikov is a Russian symbol that is known across the world. 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."

Here's the Russian marketing video that attempts to gloss-up the, ahem, proud history of the gun maker, also rather generously referring to its key automatic rifle as a "weapon of peace."

Some of the marketing spiel about the company's notorious AK-47, translated into English, reads: "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."

If that's not strange enough a shot at re-editing history, the weapons maker has put together a dramatisation of a raid on terrorists by Kalashnikov-using Russian forces, that ends with the tagline: "Kalashnikov: promoting peace and calm," as if shooting bad people somehow redresses the world's peace balance. Here's the shortform thriller in question:

It doesn't make guns, it makes solutions to problems. [Guardian]