Behold the Glorious Marksmanship Of Turkmen President Berdimuhamedov, Protector of the Nation!

Courtesy Turkmen TV

Let’s say you’re a tinpot dictator in an impoverished former Soviet client state. How do you impress the populace you’ve subjugated and exploited? How do you distract people who live in a country known mostly for its human rights abuses, hunger, unemployment and corruption? How do you let them know you’re not only tough, but virile and a man among Turkmen?

Well, when you’re not laying down sick beats while rapping with your grandson, you dress up in freshly starched fatigues and display your amazing marksmanship skillz.

As the BBC reports,

Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has reinforced his official image as a man of action by firing a pistol at targets from a moving bicycle during a military exercise.

But the footage, shown on state-run Altyn Asyr TV over enthusiastic praise of the leader’s “marksman accuracy”, has prompted mockery online and in the exiled opposition media.

In an impressively produced video, President Berdimuhamedov makes a dramatic entrance to enthusiastic applause before taking the wheel of a tactical E-Z-GO golf cart. He’s then handed a suppressed TAVOR and goes to town on a series of targets.

Credit where it’s due: it isn’t every president-for-life who could manage to hit those ten rings with a bullpup at almost 15 yards while on camera and under pressure.

But maybe the most impressive feat was the prez consistently putting rounds center mass while riding a bicycle at a speed barely fast enough to keep him upright.

Note the deft editing at work there. We’re pretty sure he didn’t even fire that pistol.

Whoever it was at the Ministry of Information that dreamed up the video may be looking for another job (or a way to quietly leave the country). As the BBC notes, the reaction to Berdimuhamedov’s miraculous firearms feats outside of Turkmenistan has been…well, less enthusiastic than those applauding conscripts in the video.

Social media reaction mixes mockery of the apparently staged footage with anger at the antics of the authoritarian head of state, frequently referring to him by the nickname “Turkmenator”.

Nato is terrified, Russia and Trump have ordered their air and space forces to be replaced with bike squads, the Taliban are ready to convert to Christianity, and China is producing armoured bicycles for our army,” writes one reader of the Chronicles site, while another marvels at the way the president “simulates pistol recoil”.

Or, as Bruce Pannier at Radio Liberty put it,

Ever since the release of the first macho video from Arkadag — which means “protector” and is what he wants people to call him — in early August 2017, I’ve been watching to see where this daredevil of the Gara-Gum Desert would turn up next. I even went back a little before that to see where Arkadag had been before the summer of 2017, when he decided it was time to show his troops how to fight.

Of course, in the Golden Age of Happiness and Prosperity, or whatever official age it is in Turkmenistan, there is no major internal threat to Berdymukhammedov’s government. The threat seems to be a hypothetical force from outside the country because it is at Turkmenistan’s border posts where one finds Berdymukhammedov clad in military fatigues — or sometimes a jeans jacket — packing heat, calling in air strikes, or sometimes even, seemingly, piloting attack helicopters.

All hail The Protector!


  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Wow. That .22 pistol has quite a kick. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      The edited vid looks like an ethnic variant of one of Kim Jong’s PSA vids. Everyone’s in military garb and clapping at their Dear Leader’s prowess under loosened milktoast standards.

      They’re all just afraid of being sent home to their wives in trash bags.

  2. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Let’s see, Russian puppet, German truck, Israeli long gun, not sure on the pistol and where was the ATV from? Maybe the pistol was Russian made? Real patriotic.

    1. avatar MB says:

      Pistol looks like a late model CZ, Arctic Cat is an American brand of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles manufactured in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The company was formed in 1960 and is now part of Textron Inc. This turkey reminds me of Obama on his girly bike….

    2. avatar Made in America says:

      “How do you impress the populace you’ve subjugated and exploited? How do you distract people who live in a country known mostly for its human rights abuses, hunger, unemployment and corruption? How do you let them know you’re not only tough, but virile and a man”?
      Sounds like that Orange Face, Commie TRUMP!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        You know how I know you’ve never been to America, cupcake?

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    “How do you distract people who live in a country known mostly for its human rights abuses, hunger, unemployment and corruption?”

    California uses surfing.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      And free stuff. For any POS that shows up, from anywhere. And free housing on every street corner or park and under every overpass.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Says the guy from Massivetwoshits.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        Ralph and I both. I’m still a Club Car guy, though I’ve yet to open fire on anyone from a carted position.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Massivetwoshits also has surfing. And sharks!

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          We love our Great Whites on Cape!

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Sorry, guys. CA is not a country. It’s a state in a country. The same one you live in.

      Did you guys have geography with obama? (57 states)

      1. avatar RedEagle says:

        Fascinating how cowards turn on Americans because they are to ignorant to comprehend a government by the people for the people. California has laws, don’t like them change them, or move. Doesn’t mean they are not Americans.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          That’s a real oversimplification. States pass unconstitutional laws all the time, sometimes over a weekend with no public input needed nor welcome. How much private sector money, time, and effort do you suppose is required to simply ‘change ‘ them? I’m guessing more than you and I have in a week. I’ve never been a legislator but as a lawyer I think it’s one of the most arrogant and unethical things a politician can do: knowingly create, sponsor, or vote in favor of clearly unconstitutional legislation.

      2. avatar SGT Preston says:

        Actually, I think Californicators ought to be a separate state. They certainly have little in common with the REST of this country.

    4. avatar Moltar says:

      I thought they used free porn, legal weed, and Hollywood (but I repeat myself) for that Ralph.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Free porn, legal weed and Hollywood? Sign me up!

    5. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Wearing camouflage shorts over leotards and matching combat boots while riding a bicycle.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Hey, it’s way better than obama’s fake pose with the shotgun many moons ago.

    1. avatar daveinwyo says:

      BTW. The photo of odamnno shows a jet of gas off to the right of the muzzle. What was that, a new type of muzzle brake for left handed people?

      1. avatar Derringer Dave says:

        daveinwyo, it’s a ported barrel.
        Lots of shotguns have ported barrels.
        I’ve owned one myself that did, and that’s how it looks when they’re fired.

  5. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    He’s almost phony enough to be a democrat, needs a double barrel shotgun!😂

  6. avatar Arizona Free says:

    How do you get a hold in the cardboard target and then it falls down?

  7. avatar MLee says:

    I applauded…..really. I didn’t whistle along though.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    I do know a bit about Turkmenistan. They held the recent world weightlifting championships there. He’s STILL better than Barry Soetoro(and probably Drumph)😏

  9. avatar surlycmd says:

    Isn’t that Gorbagun Gorbanguly? He must have performed his little show on Gurpgork or Saturday.

  10. avatar Moltar says:

    such power

    such shoot

    much impressed

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    “But maybe the most impressive feat was the prez consistently putting rounds center mass while riding a bicycle at a speed barely fast enough to keep him upright.”

    I’m not going to lie here, were that real which I really rather doubt, it would be somewhat impressive. Not really all that hard after an afternoon’s practice, but still, it would require more hand-eye-foot coordination than most people display.

  12. avatar Will Drider says:

    When your a dictator and your role model is Putin, you try to emulate his “macho bravado”. This guy also fell off a horse at a public event but the fall part was censored. Putin on the Ice with a hocky team, skated onto red carpet but not across it and dumped. Clown prizes are delivered instantaneously. Lol

  13. avatar IN Dave says:

    Want to see this guy crap those freshly ironed BDUs? Tell him that he is going to be pitted against the King of Jordan in a hunger games style death match. You won’t even get your deposit back on that artic cat he was sitting in with that much leakage.

  14. avatar Jim Warren says:

    Wonder what happened to the guy who didn’t applaud on cue….

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      He was reassigned to hold the targets.

  15. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “in a country known mostly for its human rights abuses, hunger, unemployment and corruption”.

    You say this like they’re bad things. In the scheme of things Turkland is doing better under this tyrant than most African countries with their “Presidents for Life”.

  16. avatar RGP says:

    It means he’s learned something from dead dictators and who is the only bodyguard a glorious fearless leader can trust.

  17. avatar John B Thayer says:

    Why make fun of him? It’s their country, not ours. Their values, not ours. Their culture, not ours. At least he’s showing off with a GUN! I’m still waiting for our P.O.T.U.S. to do that.

    1. avatar daveinwyo says:

      In basic, we were taught ” this is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for hunting and this is for fun”.
      Seems Trump did pretty good with his gun.
      How ’bout you? Hiding in your mom’s basement playing with your gun?

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Because it’s so weirdly desperate. The chorus line of applauding officers, the ranch buggy, the mountain bike. It’s all just absurd and kooky. Wrap all of that around some pretty ordinary rifle shooting and a really fake looking bike stunt and it’s a pretty hilarious package.

  18. avatar James W Crawford says:

    At least he is shooting a Tavor.

  19. avatar Narcoossee says:

    I like his hat.

  20. avatar BusyBeef says:

    Who elected him?

    1. avatar Someone says:

      Why, everybody- unanimously!

  21. avatar SurfGW says:

    He has much work to do to catch up to his neighbor dictator of Wadiya who won 14 medals in 13 events.

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