I can t go into the technical details and differences between rifles too much, I am not expert.
But I can talk from the point of the AK user, very active user for quite time, in real conditions :) and it is not like you own something that is not possible to destroy, or something that make you superman, but few things:
It has been thrown away, used as a bat (to hit someone) it had not been cleaned for prolonged time, even when it was clean it was not properly…
Ammo had been used in it that look like s..t, and it worked perfectly.

Yea, guys from several hundreds meters could easy killed me with other type of weapon, but in 95 % of situation trouble was happening in 50 or 100 meters distance ,and AK was very good for that.
Is there better quality rifles there? Better performances in some parts? Yea, sure.
But simply this rifle make sense for all mine SHTF circumstances. For me it is perfect for SHTF world.
For someone else setup maybe it does not have sense to have it.

Here in the US , we were fed all sorts of propaganda about the Russians , and Russian people , most of it a bold faced lie , but it fit the agenda , the truth being that BOTH the Soviet and US governments were rotten to the core and untrustworthy . I am dating a Russian woman , and both she and her family have confirmed that 3/4 of the cold war crap we were fed was a total lie . Remember people , if an elected official’s mouth is moving , you are being lied to .

It is propaganda, it is gonna be alive as long as there is a government.
When I was kid, I was told (by the system) that “western world democracy” is simply wrong, and that socialism will prevail all around the world just because it is natural etc.
There is always gonna be propaganda, and people who gonna believe in that, just like there s always gonna be people who think with their own head.