Show me photos of an international weapons mart and I’m always ready to observe man’s darkest state-sanctioned tools and instincts legally intermingling for the big bucks. (1, 2). This past week’s images by Yuri Kozyrev, however, completely raised the bar. Forget the Russian women in the short skirts helping peddle all that hardware. What Yuri has to show us, at the the biannual Russian war matériel sell-a-thon, are photos of the head of the Syrian delegation looking like a first cousin of Russia’s weapons export staff.
I’m not sure how Kozyrev worked out the access, particularly at this point in time, but it seems somebody’s PR team fell down on the job. In terms of calling out Russia for the $4 billion in weapons sold to Syria, currently being used against its own citizens, these photos are priceless. The first one of the Syrian top representative trying out a new Kalashnikov can be seen as plenty bloodthirsty, especially after you read the last paragraph in TIME’s write up.
And the second looks like a frame from just about any espionage drama, sealing the deal with a handshake.
via: The Syrian Arms Race (TIME)
(photos: Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME. caption 1: The head of the Syrian delegation to the arms bazaar tries out a new silencer-equipped Kalashnikov assault rifle. caption 2:The head of the Syrian delegation to Russia’s biennial arms bazaar shakes hands with a representative of Rosoboronexport, the Russian state weapons export monopoly.)