VICE On Kalashnikov Rebranding The AK As “A Weapon of Peace”

Kalashnikov Concern has made an effort to rebrand itself following its consolidation, and spurred by the US sanctions of 2014, that prevent the importation of the Concern’s products to the lucrative American civilian market. VICE News, online offshoot of VICE Magazine, has traveled to Moscow to cover the rebranding, interviewing Alexey Krivoruchko, the Concern’s CEO, as well as Grigor Badalyan, Director of Brand Consulting for Apostol Media Group, which consulted for the Concern’s rebranding effort:

The VICE News host, Ben Makuch, does not appear to be a gun person, by his body language and diction, and the questions he asks are more targeted for an audience concerned with arms proliferation than the firearms hobby. The editor, too, doesn’t appear to be versed in small arms terminology, either, as at one point the Russian for “5.45×39” is transcribed as “.50, .45, .39”. In the video, however, there is still enough detail for the small arms enthusiast to chew on. Footage of the AK-107 shows off its impressive controllability and virtual lack of recoil, and Mr. Krivoruchko mentions in his interview that before the sanctions, 90% of Kalashnikovs were being shipped to US civilian customers. Andrey Kirisenko, one of the most famous Russian 3-gun champions, also makes an appearance in the video.

In April, TFB also released an interview conducted with Mr. Krivoruchko, in which we fielded some of our readers’ questions to the Concern’s CEO.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • lapkonium

    4:00 i love how they translated 5.45×39 as “.50 .45 .39” and by “love” I mean “hate”

  • Drambus

    Vice news used to write and shoot fascinating stories on things like Liberian war lords to the Khyber Pass arms manufacturing, to North Korean labor camps for Russia’s logging industry.

    Since they were purchased by a large media corporation a few years ago, they’ve gone to doing extremely politically agenda-driven stories with a distinct lack of honesty.

    • Patrick M.

      Could not agree more. They used to produce some of the most unique and thought provoking content out there. Now 95% is clickbait garbage

      • you cant spell art without AR

        yeah ever since they sold out they have been turning out pure leftist propaganda.

        • iowaclass

          Gotta disagree. Their last season on HBO was amazing.

    • toms

      This is very very true. They are getting a lot of money from Russia, just watch some of the fradulent Ukraine Civil war vids where they more or less spout Russian prapoganda ad naseum. They work for the highest bidder now.

      • Esh325

        Have you ever watched their videos? They are not pro-Russian at all, not even a little bit.

      • Max Glazer

        Russian propaganda? I guess I should remind you of US propaganda about Georgian conflict. Or the lies about Iraq to justify 2003 invasion. Fraudulent Ukraine civil war? That comes from the same book as USA has nothing to do with creation of IS. And what on earth are US PMCs doing in Ukraine huh? What are the US congressmen/senators doing supporting mass riots and deciding who is going to be the next government of a foreign country? Don’t start on “Russia bad supporting rebels” when your own country creates and supports international terrorism. You look positively either uninformed or making deliberately incorrect assertions.

    • Purchased by who? VICE Media is the owner. A&E Networks owns a 10% stake, and 21st Century Fox owns a 5% stake. But that’s hardly “bought by”.

      I tend to agree about the clickbait regarding VICE online. The *heart* of VICE is still there though. Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi still have a major influence in the core of the organization.

      The problem you get with any content that is really unbiased is that it doesn’t tow the line for either side, causing both sides to stumble over their own bias and to cry foul the other way. Nobody likes a singer that won’t sing the song they want sung.

  • MPWS

    I tradition of Colt “peace-maker”…… true to the letter. :-))))

  • kev

    The balanced recoil system on the mk 107 is fantastic, i can see it being a huge advantage in larger calibers though.

    • Hmm


  • Nile

    ou… he’s firing the gun with his right hand…but aiming with the left eye o.O
    and I agree with Vice getting more agenda driven…quite sad

  • Alex Nicolin

    Listener: Will there be a war?
    Radio Yerevan: No, but there will be such a struggle for peace, that no stone will be left standing.

  • Esh325

    It’s a shame for people in the US market, but I’m sure they’ll market the Saiga MK-107 in Europe. It does seem the Saiga MK-107 legitmately has something to offer over other assault rifles. There isn’t anything else like it out there that does what it does with the recoil mitigation. I’m really surprised they were never successful at marketing it for military and police. I’d like to see a AR mag version with a BHO and bolt catch.

  • roguetechie

    Personally I’d trade a bus full of nuns for the A545 we’ve been teased with in pictures.