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Alan Lushnikov: "A man with a gun is not a threat, but a defender of the Motherland!"

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Image source: voenkom.ric.mil.ru

Alan Lushnikov, President of Kalashnikov Concern JSC, in an interview with the Military Commissariats of Russia magazine, spoke about the need to introduce rifle training in schools, the importance of patriotic education and the ability to handle weapons, as well as training in responsible weapon ownership.

Alan Valeryevich Lushnikov was born on August 10, 1976 in the city of Leningrad. In 1998, he graduated from St. Petersburg State University.

In 1997-2001 – lawyer, leading specialist of JSC "Adviser"; in 2001-2003 – Legal adviser of LLC "LINK OIL SPb"; in 2003-2006 – Chief Legal Adviser of LLC "Transoil"; in 2006-2010 – Assistant to the head, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Railway Transport of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation; in 2010-2012 – Assistant to the Minister in 2012-2017 – Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Government of the Russian Federation; in 2017-2018 – Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation; from 2019 to the present – CEO, President of LLC Perspektiva; from 2020 to the present – the main beneficial owner of JSC Concern Kalashnikov; from 2022 to the present – President of JSC Concern Kalashnikov, member of the Board of Directors.

Supports charitable projects within the framework of public activities:

  • the study of the Sudbischenskaya battle and the popularization of archaeological research on Kulikovo field;
  • The multimedia patriotic project "Can not be forgotten", dedicated to the monuments to Soviet soldiers in Europe (both the monuments that have already disappeared and those that are about to be demolished).

The president of the Kalashnikov Club. He is a supporter of the abolition of excessive prohibitions on the possession of civilian small arms, the introduction of a systematic approach to the education of the responsibility of gun owners, starting from school.

He was awarded the Order of Honor, medals and other insignia.

Married. Five children.

– Alan Valerievich, over the past few months you have made a number of statements, in simple terms, defending the "man with a gun." Is it because you head a small arms manufacturing company?

– No, this is a reaction to those painful processes that have been going on for a long time, but which have clearly manifested themselves over the past year since the beginning of the special military operation. SVO is a new objective harsh and cruel reality. And she put everything in its place.

People often die because of their basic inability to handle weapons. I'm not even talking about the fact that over the past three decades, there has been a degradation of such concepts as "defender of the Patronymic", "glory of the Russian weapon", "military service is an honorable duty" and other very important and correct concepts.

In the 1990s, the ability to use small arms began to be perceived as part of the militarized man from the "scoop". There were trends in the youth subculture that completely rejected not only the possession of weapons, but also the protection of the Motherland. Later, the media began to form phobias of gun ownership in Russian society.

The agenda on the increased danger of weapons is constantly being discussed. That guns kill. At the same time, the emphasis was deliberately shifted from the person using the weapon to the object – small arms. We have to admit that regulatory regulation in the 1990s abolished all the promising things that had been developed in the USSR.

What is the result? The collapse of pre-conscription rifle training. Degradation of the shooting infrastructure. Today, the school shooting range is perceived as something unimaginable. Although once we learned to shoot air rifles and disassemble a Kalashnikov assault rifle in our schools.

– The people of Russia were taught that these are objective processes. Supposedly, the "militarized" USSR was replaced by a calm, measured life – out of danger of new wars. It seemed so to many then.

– That's exactly what "seemed". In fact, these processes were not objective for a second. Since the 1990s, Russia has been dragged into many international institutions under the most plausible pretexts. This is the World Trade Organization, for membership in which the lion's share of duties protecting the Russian manufacturer was abolished, the International Organization for Standardization, the International Organization for Accreditation of Testing Laboratories and other international organizations, whose goal was the same: through a built-up system of norms to ensure the unconditional technical and technological dominance of the Western manufacturer.

They instilled in us the ideas of a carbon footprint, green technologies, and lean manufacturing. Enterprises that did not meet these requirements were subject to additional encumbrances. Today it becomes clear that the rules created by Western countries have always worked against the Russian manufacturer.

In 1992, we joined the Brussels Convention on the Mutual Recognition of the Test Marks of Small Arms. With this decision, we opened our domestic market, but in return we received absolutely nothing.

For example, the Republic of Turkey is not a signatory to this convention and therefore does not comply with the rules of simplified import of weapons. But this does not prevent the Turkish manufacturer from exporting weapons almost all over Europe. Turkey's domestic market is practically closed to imported weapons, including Russian ones.

The situation is completely the opposite now in Russia: we do not protect our domestic market from the expansion of foreign manufacturers. Perhaps it's time to raise questions about the admission to the domestic market of only imported products with localization in Russia of at least 30%. That's what they did with the automotive industry. Foreign manufacturers, together with Russian businesses, built an assembly plant. And these are taxes, jobs, technology transfer.

So the so–called "objective processes" were actually a well-organized strategy for the collapse of our production facilities - to open the market to Western manufacturers. And this happened in almost all industries, not only in the "armory". It was all about money and about money. So much for "objectivity."

– So you are in favor of reviving rifle training as part of initial military training in schools and on the basis of DOSAAF Russia?

– If it helps to save the lives of our fighters and protect the Homeland, then yes, of course, I'm for it! What you have listed are parts of a huge and, by the way, effective system designed to guarantee the security of the country.

I remember perfectly well how in high school, in the lessons of the NVP – initial military training – we disassembled and assembled the Kalashnikov assault rifle, how we went in the UGC – combined arms protective kit, how we learned to use the IPP – an individual anti-chemical package. To us teenagers, it seemed like something not very serious with the elements of the game. Even so, the fact remains that I still remember and will be able to apply PPIs. And many of the current recruits have not even heard of this. But this is their life.

Take a look at our opponents today – they are actively preparing their population to defend themselves with weapons in their hands. We see this in almost all NATO countries. Poland, for example, has introduced mandatory shooting training. To go far, initial military training is now being conducted in all CIS countries except Russia.

In the USSR, small arms were as commonplace as a plow in the hands of a peasant. Small arms were everywhere. Rifle training was fixed in the course of initial military training.

We are constantly told that the introduction of shooting training is extremely dangerous, including for schoolchildren. That additional prohibitions and restrictions should be introduced. But here's the question: why hasn't there been a single school shooting in the entire history of the USSR?

In Ukraine, in the 2000s, a center for information and psychological operations was established. There is a lot of writing about him today. In 2014, Crimea returned to its native harbor, and in 2014, for the first time in the history of Russia, the first school shooting took place. And this is not a coincidence. Experts have recorded a rapid increase in the number of online groups dedicated to columbine. We know the result.

Unfortunately, instead of trying to figure out the reasons for what is happening, we began a series of prohibitions: semi-automatic, Lancaster, Paradox were put on the verge of extinction. That is, we sentenced the instrument, not the one in whose hands it is.

Moreover, paradoxically, with each new ban on the use of civilian weapons, we unwittingly hit our defenses. The fact is that modern small arms used by security forces should be as reliable, powerful and reliable as possible. All this is achieved through the mutual transfer of technical solutions for civilian, service and combat weapons. These are the support legs on which the domestic weapons school rests. Throw away or shorten one of them, and the whole structure will first start to wobble, and then topple over.

Many technical solutions before their use in combat weapons were tested on civilian small arms – GSO. A striking example is Lebedev's pistol. It began to be developed as a sports car. But in the process of working on the order of law enforcement agencies, it was transformed into a modern, convenient and effective combat weapon, which is in service with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and other law enforcement agencies.

That is why every ban and restriction directly affects the quality characteristics of military weapons and – ultimately – negatively affects the security of the Fatherland.

– Do not sell weapons to everyone?

– Of course not. I'll come back to MY own. Did the prohibitions and restrictions help the young man who got to the front? Obviously, they didn't help, if they didn't hurt. A person without skills is not able to protect himself or his homeland!

By the way, the world experience in combating mass shootings says the following: half of the weapons used in crimes were obtained on the black market, stolen.

The tightening of legislation regarding legal arms trafficking leads to an increase in illegal arms trafficking. This, of course, does not mean that weapons should be sold in bakeries. I just want to emphasize that prohibitions alone cannot solve the problem. It must be solved comprehensively.

Give the boys back their NVP lessons. Tell them about weapons in an interesting way. Instill in them a culture, respect for weapons. Take them to shooting ranges, to shooting ranges. Organize tournaments and promote shooting sports.

In the end, we must all come to understand that a man with a gun is not a threat, but a defender of the Motherland! Moreover, this does not mean any excessive severity or militarization. No, it means calm systematic mastery of the skills necessary to protect the Homeland. As an example, in the current realities. And all this, of course, must rest on a solid foundation of responsibility and patriotism.

– The Kalashnikov Concern promotes the Kalashnikov Club, whose motto is "Armed, but not dangerous." What are the goals and objectives of this club?

– We at the concern have decided to breathe a second life into our Kalashnikov Club. Turn it into a playground for people who love guns. We do not put restrictions on joining its ranks. We have athletes, hunters, just interested in the topic of weapons.

But! All members of our club understand that guns are always very serious. And always very responsibly. That is why, within the framework of our club, training seminars and various courses are planned to help people become "more advanced users". To educate the owners of weapons to be responsible to society.

We want to turn the club into a community of people who are close in spirit and interests, helping each other in various situations. Our experts are always ready to answer any question on operation, accounting, tactical and technical characteristics and other weapons topics. In our club, anyone who has a question about any type of weapon will get an answer to it.

– The new course of initial military training in its current form will not be able to seriously interest schoolchildren and students of secondary special education institutions. You expressed this opinion at the round table "Transformation of the arms community in Russia", organized within the framework of the International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2023".

– This course basically boils down to a simple memorization of the statutes of the armed forces, and we must return the shooting training to the guys. It is necessary to instill in our children, boys, the awareness that weapons are a necessary part of the life of a modern man. It seems to me that if we do this, then our country will be safe.

The current average conscript has no idea about the basics of shooting. He does not know or understand ballistics, the basic design of small arms, or the basic safety requirements when handling them.

The special military operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine has shown how difficult modern warfare is. New models of weapons and military equipment abound in electronic systems, ballistic computers, radio relay stations, laser rangefinders, electronic warfare devices, mine protection.

And this is not the whole list of almost the simplest infantry fighting vehicle. Add to this the study of tactics, charters, topography, the basics of intelligence, internal regulations, and we will get a huge array of information that the newly drafted contingent must master within four to five months.

This is a fairly serious process of mastering weapons. And in order to master it, you need to start somewhere. We need to figure out what small arms are. These are cartridges, these are ballistics, these are special solutions that help to apply it. It's even a certain psychophysiological condition. If you start to develop these skills in handling weapons, then further work with more complex types of weapons will be easier. This is a matter of our country's existence.

– On October 12, 2023, the First All-Russian Weapons Forum was held in Moscow...

– We did not just hold this forum. We conducted it with common efforts and common understanding. It was called "A Fork in History," but, to be honest, I have a feeling that we have already passed the fork. And we went through it in the right direction: we chose the right path. Just as our country has chosen the right path.

We were put at a fork in the road: either to lose our independence, or to move in the direction in which we consider it necessary.

No one but us needs our country as an independent and strong power. It seems to me that this is an obvious conclusion that we have all come to. We have no other way but to create, develop and defend our country.

And for me, as a citizen of Russia, the very important and most important question is probably: what do we need for this?

And to do this, we need, first of all, to change our attitude towards the country. Over the past 30 years, we have looked at security issues a little differently, at questions of our place in the world.

It seemed that the borders were open, there were no more enemies for us and there would always be peace. And in this situation, when a person is safe or thinks that he is safe, he begins to think about how best to succeed, how to make a career, develop, raise children. And that's all right. That's the way to do it. But there should always be an understanding that all this is possible only if your country is safe.

How it happened that we so quickly forgot what we were taught in the Soviet Union, I do not know. But this shows the effectiveness of the global media in the modern world.

In secondary schools, secondary specialized educational institutions and technical schools in the USSR, 140 hours were allocated for initial military training for two years. And the course that we were taught, we remember to this day.

And even earlier, before the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, in the Soviet Union, 5 million 850 thousand people received the right to wear the Voroshilov Shooter badge of the first stage. That was the approach to patriotic education: we trained people to defend their homeland with weapons in their hands.

At present, and this is already obvious, we have returned to understanding: we need to be able to use weapons to protect the Fatherland!

And everything else follows from this: the need to develop infrastructure, methodological training, expand production and ensure the availability of weapons. These tasks necessarily follow from this choice. And we will follow this choice and we will fulfill it.

Yes, they say all over the world that the Kalashnikov assault rifle in some part is a symbol of Russia. But we understand that without Russia there will be no gunsmiths, there will be no Kalashnikov and there will be no us, the citizens of the country.

The Union of Russian Gunsmiths raised one of the rather important and very relevant topics – the topic of the transformation of the arms community in Russia. It unites a very large array of legal entities, employees of legal entities using small arms in their activities, manufacturers of weapons and cartridges, owners and users of personal weapons.

There is not a single region of Russia, not a single settlement where weapons and ammunition are not used. As the National Anthem says, "from the south seas to the polar region." Small arms protect borders, help fight crime, provide jobs, and create a need for users to engage in sports, hunting, and other legitimate activities.

Civilian weapons form a whole layer of the economy, directly and indirectly involved in the turnover of weapons and ammunition. Shooting sports, hunting tourism, recreational shooting, repair shops, security guards of various categories and much more.

In the modern world, weapons accompany a person constantly almost from birth. A toy machine gun is replaced by a virtual weapon in games, then sports, hunting, military service.

In Russia, hoplophobia – the fear of guns and armed people – is breaking records. Many factors contributed to this. From objective ones – in the form of excesses with small arms – to subjective ones – in the form of imposing a stereotype on society about the immorality of owning civilian weapons.

But today we understand that owning a weapon and improving the skills of its use in the modern world is a way of survival. Survival not only in the forest one-on-one with the beast, but also in a hybrid war against the entire Russian, Russian way of thinking.

Historically, throughout the centuries-old history, our society has not shunned small arms. The conquest of Siberia and the Arctic, the fur–bearing animal fishery, the nature and mentality of the inhabitants of the Far East and the Caucasus - all this is unthinkable without small arms.

But with the help of special tools, our society is implanted with the image of the owner of a weapon as an abnormal person, a destroyer. According to hoplophobes, almost any gun owner bought all the certificates, did not study anywhere and therefore does not know how to shoot, but at the same time shoots his weapon indiscriminately. I am ready to use my weapon immediately in any fight, but for some reason it is always taken away by intruders and used against the owner. Hunting, in the understanding of a hoplophobe, is not unity with nature, but an unbridled thirst for blood.

Such an attitude has already led to the degradation of the shooting infrastructure, the problems of which we discussed at the First All-Russian Weapons Forum.

For 20 years prior to the start of the SVO, the number of gun owners decreased from year to year. The reasons are: excessive regulation of access to weapons; the inability to use personal weapons for educational and recreational shooting in many regions; the extremely high cost of weapons, ammunition, and the use of shooting infrastructure; the decline in the prestige of hunting; the closure of previously available shooting sites.

The consequence of the decrease in the number of gun owners is the loss of leading positions in almost all sports related to the use of small arms; due to the closure of foreign markets, the domestic industry of small arms and ammunition production is approaching the point of no return in some technical competencies; investments in science and promising developments are being curtailed.

Since the 1990s, our society has been instilled with the image of an armed man as an exceptionally negative one with the help of the media and Internet resources controlled by the collective West. It is possible and necessary to counteract this only with the help of soft power. Give a boy a machine gun in his hands, let it be wooden at first, then a real one with an empty magazine, and so he received an injection of healthy patriotism. Great-grandfathers with a three-line, grandfathers with a PPSh, fathers with an AK-74, and a kid with a stripped-down AK-12! So much for the generational connection.

– Visible changes are currently taking place in Russian society. Today, the cause of protecting the Motherland is not perceived by the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens as a duty.

– The transformation of Russian society has begun. Great social changes have begun. New volunteer formations have already been created and are being created to participate in the SVO. By territorial basis, by professional attitude, by social groups. By the way, this is happening under the auspices of the Main Organizational and Mobilization Directorate of the General Staff and Military Commissariats of Russia.

Crimea, Bashkiria, Tatarstan, Kursk and about 70 other regions of our country have formed military units from their residents. Volunteer formations created by Gazprom and Transneft, the Espanyol battalion, which included the so-called football fans, are performing combat missions in the zone of the SVO.

This is a response to hoplophobes who believe that civilian weapons are not needed, that all Russian citizens are completely drunks and rowdies. No. These people, unlike varnished bloggers, refined club party-goers, are now proving their devotion to the Motherland in practice.

We have no right to betray these people after they have completed combat missions in their own zone. I believe that it is necessary to do everything in our power to ensure that their combat experience, knowledge, and developed sense of justice serve the benefit of the Fatherland. They can work as instructors, teachers of NVP, guides of military-patriotic education of youth.

I believe that it is necessary to reset all the deadlines provided for by the Federal Law "On Weapons" in relation to these citizens. You returned from your military service and have no medical contraindications – purchase any available civilian weapons. The Union of Russian Gunsmiths has already come up with such an initiative. We have prepared the relevant draft law, which is supported by the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

I believe that the transformation of the weapons community that has begun will allow us to change the attitude towards the armed man in Russia.

– In 2018, the Kalashnikov Concern organized a scientific laboratory for robotics in the Military Innovative Technopolis ERA, in which more than 320 people are trained annually.

The first 20 employees of Kalashnikov Concern JSC, who were called up in 2023, are serving in the scientific and production platoon of the concern on the basis of technopolis ERA. Why does the concern need its own platoon?

– The scientific and Production platoon was created to implement projects in the interests of the armed forces. Graduates of universities undergo military service in it. Young scientists and operators are involved in the implementation of projects, development and production of products for the needs of the concern. Service in the military technopolis takes place in 16 scientific areas: robotics, information security, nanotechnology and others.

Preserving and building up the scientific potential of employees is of great value to Kalashnikov today. Deep immersion in the specifics of military affairs and high-tech initiatives of young people will help us in the development of modern high-precision and efficient production.

Source: the magazine "Military Commissariats of Russia"

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