Inside the Izmash AK Factory

Thanks again to English Russia, we have the English translation of a photo essay on a visit to the fabled Izmash arms plant, where Kalashnikov-pattern weapons have been made for over sixty years, and are still made. (We’ve shown some pictures from this plant before, in a report on the AK-12 they’ve offered to the Russian MOD, in an effort to get the MOD to break its AK-purchasing moratorium, on which we also reported here). The plant photos show workers assembling and testing military rifles and carbines, Saiga shotguns, and Tigr hunting rifles. There are also a couple of shots of the community of Izhevsk, capital of the Udmurt Republic (a Republic in Russian Federal organization is roughly analogous to a US or Canadian State or Province).

Izhevsk has been a center of arms manufacture at least since the days of Alexander I; that Tsar ordered the establishment of a weapons plant on the Izh River in 1804, but an ironworks predated even that. In fact, the city of Izhevsk was built to support the imperial arsenal.

For those of you who can gavoreet paw-roosicky, the original Russian article is here on “Good, old Sirin”‘s LiveJournal blog. (See, LJ isn’t dead, it’s just on hiatus in Russia. I wonder if it’s seen that clown from Six Apart/TypePad?). Sirin’s post may have a couple more photos; he says he has 34, and the English Russia post has 31. Anyway, Sirin posted on April 18th, and English Russia picked it up for you monoglots on the 22nd, so we’re a few days behind. You complainers will be glad to know your refunds are being processed.

Unfortunately, though, Izmash the company is not doing well. Its automotive-industry subsidiary went belly-up in 2009, and, despite this sudden promotion on Russian and Russian-American blogs, the company entered bankruptcy protection on the 6th of April, according to this story (Russian language).