The AKS74U “Krinkov” has gained a cult-like following in Afghanistan, dating back to the high status of the carbine in the Mujahideen’s fight against the Soviet Union. Because it was mostly helicopter and armored BMP crews that were issued it, capturing one from a downed helicopter gave tangible evidence to Afghan fighters that they had achieved a battlefield success. In 1981 a Krinkov could be bought for the price of four “Dhushka” heavy machine guns in the gun markets of Dharra Adam Khel.
Today we see the Krinkov alive and well, arming Uzbek General Rashid Dustom’s (now Vice President) security detail. The photographs below are a compilation of instances in which we see Dustom in public with his armed escort, in addition to some photographs of his son at the front with him. The presence of the Krinkov among his security force is both as an effective close range weapon but also is portraying an image of high status and power among all who see him.
Notice the PSD member in suit with the Krinkov, and how he appears in a number of these other photographs. Warlords, Generals, and Government figures in Afghanistan and Iraq usually have a very narrow circle with whom they can trust and depend because of the nature of their work. This circle of trust is especially small when it comes to their security detail, as these members are fully armed and have an intimate knowledge of their client. Many times in the past, assassinations of major figures have come from these men precisely because of that, dating back to ancient times as well. Whomever this man is, Dustom must have much faith in his abilities, in addition to being fully able to trust him.
This photograph is particularly interesting because it shows a modified AkS74u, with Trijicon ACOG, attached flashlight, and what appears to be a picatinny section replacing the handrails.