In Venezuela, Maduro puts Mosins on parade in show of force (PHOTOS)
By Chris Eger
Fearsome Venezuelan Bolivarian Militia armed with Soviet M.91/30 Mosin rifles, at Fort Tiuna, Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 (Photos: Ricardo Mazalan/AP)
Ordered into the streets by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro’s government drilled with some very well cared for WWII-era rifles.
As reported by the AP, some 900,000 soldiers and members of civilian militia took part in military drills over the weekend in response to sanctions from the U.S. as a result of a government crack down on opposition groups.
While in recent weeks Maduro’s son has threatened to “take the White House” with guns blazing and the Latin American country has a significant arsenal that includes 5,000 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and a licence to manufacture AK-103s, the armed militia show in the AP’s photos would be more at home in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Designed in 1891, the Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle predates the Ford Model T by more than a generation, but with over 40 million produced they are one of the most prolific weapons in existence. While prices on the humble 7.62x54R rifle bottomed out at about $39 when millions of surplus guns were sold on the open market following the end of the Cold