Cheeky cable from Ashgabat: Cat tried to assassinate the president of Turkmenistan

A mischievously written January 2010 missive from Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, reports that a cat may have tried to kill President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in November 2009: Another incident reportedly occurred two months ago that was feared to be an assassination attempt. It was committed by a cat that ran in front of the President’s ...

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

A mischievously written January 2010 missive from Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, reports that a cat may have tried to kill President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in November 2009:

Another incident reportedly occurred two months ago that was feared to be an assassination attempt. It was committed by a cat that ran in front of the President's car as he was traveling to his residence in the village of Archibil. (NOTE: Archabil, 20 kilometers from Ashgabat, is located in the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains and is surrounded by forest. END NOTE) A military lieutenant reported that an officer from the Presidential Security Regiment, responsible for safeguarding that particular area, was fired the following day.

The cable was signed by Sylvia Reed Curran, then the chargé d'affaires. In all seriousness, Curran does relay rumors that "[s]everal high ranking police officials were fired" after "a motorist crossed an intersection in front President Berdimuhamedov's motorcade as it moved through Ashgabat."

A mischievously written January 2010 missive from Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, reports that a cat may have tried to kill President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in November 2009:

Another incident reportedly occurred two months ago that was feared to be an assassination attempt. It was committed by a cat that ran in front of the President’s car as he was traveling to his residence in the village of Archibil. (NOTE: Archabil, 20 kilometers from Ashgabat, is located in the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains and is surrounded by forest. END NOTE) A military lieutenant reported that an officer from the Presidential Security Regiment, responsible for safeguarding that particular area, was fired the following day.

The cable was signed by Sylvia Reed Curran, then the chargé d’affaires. In all seriousness, Curran does relay rumors that "[s]everal high ranking police officials were fired" after "a motorist crossed an intersection in front President Berdimuhamedov’s motorcade as it moved through Ashgabat."

"[T]he driver of the vehicle was reportedly beaten and charged with attempted assassination," she writes.

More from Foreign Policy

A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Xi’s Great Leap Backward

Beijing is running out of recipes for its looming jobs crisis—and reviving Mao-era policies.

A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.
A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.

Companies Are Fleeing China for Friendlier Shores

“Friendshoring” is the new trend as geopolitics bites.

German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.
German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.

Why Superpower Crises Are a Good Thing

A new era of tensions will focus minds and break logjams, as Cold War history shows.

Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.
Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.

The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing

From Saint-Tropez to Amalfi, the region’s most attractive tourist destinations are also its most vulnerable.