Kalashnikov Calls on Putin to Save His Legendary Factory
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian who designed the AK-47 assault rifle, has called on President Vladimir Putin to halt the decline at the legendary factory where he invented the weapon.
Mr. Kalashnikov, 92, and 16 colleagues said in an open letter addressed to Putin that production had fallen to a record low at the Izmash motor and weaponry factory in Izhevsk, the main city in the central Russian region of Udmurtia.
“Respected Vladimir Vladimirmovich, we are forced to turn to you because of the catastrophic situation at what was once a manufacturing giant,” the letter said.
“It is bitter and shameful to see how something built by more than one generation is being destroyed. Today the level of production is lower than ever.”
“In the name of the veterans who have spent most of their lives working at Izmash, we ask you to save our factory,” it said.
The letter said that qualified personnel were quitting the company as their salary was no more than 10,000 roubles (320 dollars) a month, a problem that had already sparked protests at the plant. (AFP)
Photo: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, center, meets with Mikhail Kalashnikov, right, the designer of the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle, AK47, as he visits a plant manufacturing Kalashnikov assault rifles and other fire-arms in the central Russian city of Izbevsk, about 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) east of Moscow, Tuesday, May 25, 2010 (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti).