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.