The symbolic peak of Russia’s self-appointed role as Syria’s “savior” came on May 5, 2016, just days after Assad’s troops backed by Russian special forces and close air support seized the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS—though most Russian airstrikes were against .-backed rebel groups in the center of the country. Moscow flew in its greatest conductor, Valery Gergiev, and his Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra to play before an audience of international journalists in the ancient theater at Palmyra, which ISIS had previously used as a venue for public executions. A publicity stunt, sure—but an immensely effective one.
Both licensed and unlicensed production of the Kalashnikov weapons abroad were almost exclusively of the AKM variant, partially due to the much easier production of the stamped receiver. This model is the most commonly encountered, having been produced in much greater quantities. All rifles based on the Kalashnikov design are frequently referred to as AK-47s in the West, although this is only correct when applied to rifles based on the original three receiver types.  In most former Eastern Bloc countries, the weapon is known simply as the "Kalashnikov" or "AK". The differences between the milled and stamped receivers includes the use of rivets rather than welds on the stamped receiver, as well as the placement of a small dimple above the magazine well for stabilization of the magazine.