Turkmenistan president mocked for bizarre footage of him shooting targets while riding a bicycle

The leader of the isolated central Asian country of Turkmenistan has shot targets from a moving bicycle in his latest eccentric, self-aggrandising video.

Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, president of the gas-producing state since 2007, visited military and law enforcement units on Thursday as part of an unplanned inspection.

Interior ministry special forces snipers fired bows-and-arrows at targets as part of the inspection, which also included airstrikes and vehicle exercises, state website Golden Century reported.

Mr Berdimukhamedov, who has “achieved high results” in target shooting since childhood, also fired several weapons himself, the publication said.

In footage mocked by social media users, Mr Berdimukhamedov, dressed in dun-coloured camouflage, left the training grounds on a mountain bike and passed by three specially prepared targets in the shape of a human silhouette.

Mr Berdimukhamedov has become known for stunts showcasing his creative and martial prowess, parachuting, lifting weights, racing cars and riding horses Credit: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

Carefully riding within a few metres of the targets, he drew a pistol and put a round into the centre of each one, video from the event showed. A group of service personnel was on hand to enthusiastically applaud the feet.

“Directly hitting the targets, the Turkmen leader again demonstrated his physical fitness and mastery, setting an ideal example for soldiers and the youth in particular,” Golden Century wrote.

The development of cycling and other sports is a “key part of state policy oriented toward promoting the principles of a healthy lifestyle in society”, it added.

Mr Berdimukhamedov has become known for stunts showcasing his creative and martial prowess, parachuting, lifting weights, racing cars and riding horses in recent video appearances.

Although no foreign books are allowed in Turkmenistan, the president is credited with having written three dozen books on subjects like horses and tea.

He also professed to be a prolific songwriter. In April, he rapped an ode to his favourite horse in a music video alongside his grandson

An earlier song with his grandson rhapsodised about how “life is so wonderful in motherland”. He also often plays a “DJ set” on new year's.

Human Rights Watch has called Turkmenistan “one of the world's most repressive and closed countries,” as all spheres of life are tightly regulated any criticism of the government is stamped out.

Much like North Korea, it runs on an ideology authored by its former president, who is commemorated with grandiose statues. The current president also has a statue in the capital showing him astride a golden horse on top of an outcropping of white marble.