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Moscow Airport Gift Shop Features Replica AK-47

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) may be the only commercial airport in the world where a scale-model of an assault weapon is considered an appropriate souvenir.

The Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle has a storied, albeit controversial, history. The prolific and dependable weapon has remained among the most popular military-style rifles in the world for well over 50 years and much like with Ferrari, Harley Davidson or Adidas, branded keepsakes bearing the company logo are almost as popular as the actual products that brought the well-known companies fame.

It isn’t at all shocking that visitors to Moscow might want a memento embossed with the familiar red and black Kalashnikov colors. What is shocking, however, is the fact that the new Kalashnikov gift shop (which offers replicas of its famous rifles and pistols for sale to the public) is attached to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO).

“’Kalashnikov’ is one of the most popular brands that springs to mind when people all around the world come to think about Russia,” Kalashnikov Marketing Director, Vladimir Dmitriev told USA Today. “That is why we are happy to give everyone who came to visit Russia an opportunity to take home a souvenir with Kalashnikov logo … We hope that people would highly evaluate our initiative and buy our company souvenirs as a memory of their trip.”

So far, airport officials report that the sale of replica assault weapons hasn’t caused any security issues at the country’s biggest and busiest commercial airport. An SVO spokesperson told Reuters the plastic reproductions of assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols sold in the Kalashnikov shop made to “very clearly be imitations and would pose no security problems.”

Still, to ward off any potential security issues, a simple “I Love AK” T-shirt might be a safer purchase for passengers with a stopover on the trip back home.

[Photo: RT]

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