Russian industry and product designers accuse United States of directing copies of Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle around world; Mikhail T Kalashnikov, weapon's original designer, says his name is being used on great number of products bought in other countries; US has been purchasing or arranging transfer of thousands of knockoffs of Kalashnikovs, called AK-47's, to outfit new military and security forces in Kabul and Baghdad; these rifles were made in weapons plants controlled by Eastern European states, former partners of Moscow's in Soviet days; they were not manufactured in Russia, where arms industry holds patents for weapon in several nations; Kalashnikov is in many ways Moscow's Ford; it is a national product: extraordinarily successful, widespread, name closely connected to identity of a state; Russian arms officials claim no other nation has valid license to make AK-47 and its many derivatives and clones, and that Washington, in its effort to defeat insurgents and terrorists, has been encouraging violations of intellectual property rights.
I want to say that I thought I had read somewhere that kalashnikov liked the Bulgarian Arsenal AK-47 rifles. I think I read it when I did a search for the SA M-7 and there was an article from Guns and Ammo. I'll see if I can't find it again. Its been awhile though.
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