This week's news reports said to contain same-day footage of the president are meant to dispel persistent rumours that he is dead or incapacitated. The State Security Council met surreptitiously on the morning of August 2, leading to speculations it was discussing arrangements for a succession process.
- The government's poor public relations show up its lack of interest in addressing domestic and external audiences.
- Moscow's leverage in Turkmen politics is limited; it can only hope for stable leadership.
- Worries about political stability would heighten concerns about security on the Afghan border