AUG. 2 2017 (The Bulletin) — Turkmenistan’s President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has been mocked for starring in a video in which he postures, firing a rifle and throwing daggers at targets, to adoring, gawping Turkmen commandos.
Keen to burnish his public image, Mr Berdymukhamedov is fond of releasing videos which show off his apparently unlimited skills.
A few days earlier a video showed him, wearing a white tracksuit and baseball cap, singing and playing the keyboard. At the start of the year, a video showed him leading government officials in a gym workout.
The common thread in each video is that Mr Berdymukhamedov, who is micromanaging his way through an economic downturn, plays the role of the kindly father-figure passing on his skills and knowledge to less able subjects.
>>This story was first published on Aug. 5 2017, in issue 338 of the weekly Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin