In the Caspian littoral country, where the personage became the nominal character, martial law was introduced, which the authorities forgot to “declare”. This is the impression of foreigners who miraculously managed to visit neutral Turkmenistan, or as the court fabulists of the “Turkmenbashi country” write. Citizens move across the territory of their country (to the Dashoguz and Lebap regions bordering on Uzbekistan) through countless cordons and by special passes. State institutions, right up to the State Statistics Committee - under the protection of soldiers, traffic police officers (reassigned to the Minister of Defense) on the roads more than traffic lights, patrols equipped with batons became commonplace in the evenings. At night, selective passport control, in response to shocking deserted people on the streets, even on weekend days. Almost everywhere installed video tracking equipment, produced in Israel. In the period of mass events, whether it be a football match or the celebration of Independence Day, several hundred, or even thousands of ordinary soldiers are driven to the stadiums.
The Turkmen army is undergoing a “shock therapy”: the missing disciplinary battalions were reanimated, labor service was introduced. Every year, 20,000 recruits are distributed among the ministries, which they use as cotton workers, builders, train conductors, and the nurses as labor workers on a semi-donor basis (in exchange for food and uniform). The Turkmen Helsinki Foundation (TCF) is sounding the alarm: “yesterday's children” are not taught safety practices. Because of what they get into an accident, there have been cases of poisoning. “And no proceedings, the military authorities send the family a notice that their son died in the performance of military duty,” the TCF states. Extreme manifestations of hazing and tribalism are symptomatic - a case is known when the father of a warrior who was beaten to death in despair appointed a reward for apprehending a runaway prisoner. In remote military units, due to lack of sanitation, hepatitis, gastritis and other infectious diseases are rampant, and deaths have been recorded. In the military environment, there is evidence of malnutrition and lack of sleep among the rank and file, with which officers fight for hours of drill training and the study of sacred Rukhnama, born from the pen of the supreme commander, army general, "eternal" President Saparmurat Niyazov. After working for many years in Turkmenistan, a Western businessman throws up his hands: “It was not the abundance of barriers that shocked, but the request of one soldier to give him some bread. He also admitted that he hadn’t been asleep for almost two days, as they forgot to change him on guard. ”
In modern Turkmenistan with a population (according to official statistics) of six million people, more than one hundred thousand young people are called in a year, that is, three times more than they received the agenda in the first years of independence. Many of the mobilized Kalashnikov assault rifles can only be seen on the day of the oath, and only a few manage to sit at the helm of an attack aircraft repaired in Georgia or master modernized radar stations purchased in Ukraine.
Periodically, on the presidential square in Ashgabat, canceled before military parades are held with special pomp, the Akhal-Teke cavalcade is adjacent to Soviet armored personnel carriers. Military field exercises became quite frequent, the last of which was dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Victory Day and was held near Ashgabat. Satisfied with the May teachings "Kuvvat Vatan" (Strong Fatherland), the president said that the armed forces would be equipped with the latest technology. Fresh illustration. At the beginning of May, the gas delegation of Ukraine was accompanied by Deputy Director General of the Ukroboronservice enterprise Roman Khalikov.
Turkmenistan’s desire to upgrade weapons is, by and large, not a sensation. All the states of the Commonwealth, without exception, are keen on this, despite the fact that many of them are “not affordable” for many millions of dollars. Any militarization occurs at least for two reasons: an attempt to preemptively secure its external borders or permanently control the situation inside the country. The only question is which of these priorities is to be considered a priority. Apparently, the Ashgabat "authorities" will fall into even greater affection after Memorial Human Rights Center + was informed about the distribution of leaflets in Ashgabat (attributed to the shadow local Communist Party) demanding the immediate impeachment of Niyazov.
The military deal with Turkmenbashi allowed for a long time afloat the former Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze, who thus returned the old debts. During the Turkmen gas supplied in the mid-nineties, the nearly bankrupt enterprise Tbilaviastroy brought 50 Turkmen Su-25 attack aircraft, combat and military transport helicopters Mi-24 and Mi-8 back to life. Mikhail Saakashvili, who was loudly replaced by the “cunning fox”, who considers himself almost the father of “velvet revolutions” within the CIS, almost immediately entered into personal correspondence with Niyazov, in a superlative way of appreciating his past services to Georgia during the “energy crisis”. Whether he informed the Turkmen colleague about his forecasts in the region is an open question. “I believe that the Rose Revolution, which began in Georgia, and the Orange Revolution, which took place in Kiev, mark a turn in history. These two similar and close revolutions are nothing but the beginning of the third wave of democratization, which will have an impact on almost all of Eurasia. It began with the collapse of communism in 1989 and 15 years later dumped repressive and kleptocratic regimes in my country and Ukraine, and now it can spread further, freeing millions of people in the rest of the territory, previously known as the Soviet Union, ”writes article Georgian president. According to him, the “tulip revolution” in Kyrgyzstan demonstrates that even those peoples of the former Soviet Union who have had independence for the last 15 years without true freedom can choose their own path to it. "It is perfectly clear that not a single authoritarian regime, faced with the will of the people, can hold back the forces of freedom during this period of history."
Practically in the same vein, the new Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, spoke out, and not anywhere else, while sitting next to Turkmenbashi in his presidential palace. “Ukraine dearly got freedom. I will say that, regardless of which part of the world, we will uphold those values that we believe in and fought for, ”Yushchenko said in March in response to a request from human rights activists to educate the eastern neighbor. After thinking about it, Yushchenko suggested pumping oil on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea.
Niyazov and Yushchenko - coming together "by default." Turkmenistan and Ukraine are economic partners with solid experience and are somewhat related to a utopian goal - to weaken the energy loop of Russia. OAO Gazprom completely manages all the pipelines connecting Ashgabat and Kiev between themselves, unsuccessfully making their way to the European "window", in the first case for the solvent market, and the second to increase the volume of transit export gas. "Viktor Andreevich offered us the modernization of the defense industry, military equipment and the training of military personnel." Niyazov called this the main outcome of the first official meeting. The clinking of glasses with champagne, except for the agreement on the status of immigrants was heard in connection with the conclusion of agreements between the ministries of defense for 2005-2007 and “about the transfer of those sentenced to imprisonment for further punishment.” The long-term gas contract was predictably left for the future. “Our relationship, like a fragile flower in the desert, requires very careful care,” said the former head of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, knowingly, at a dinner arranged for him in Turkmenbashi. Kiev, in addition to gas, in addition to Christmas trees, chocolates and baby cream, consistently supplied the Kolchug air defense systems, the Kalkan and Grif military patrol ships and trained Turkmen air crews. By extinguishing gas supplies by barter, Ukraine also rehabilitated the military equipment inherited from the USSR, in particular, the jet MiGs.
Yushchenko may consider his mission partly fulfilled, as the military contracts for leaked information in the Ukrainian media were not only extended, but also extended. Apparently, Niyazov himself was also satisfied, having obtained an agreement on the mutual extradition of convicts from the hero of Maidana. A package like this has already been signed with Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belarus. The Turkmen president, as you know, is stubbornly and desperately hunting for his former ministers, after they have migrated and joined the opposition camp.