Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Putin isn’t the Only CIS Country Leader who Likes Sports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 25 – Vladimir Putin’s passion for martial arts and other forms of sports is well-known.  Less well-known is the fact that all but one of the ten other heads of the CIS member countries is also a more or less passionate sportsmen. Indeed, being one or being seen to be one now appears to be almost a requirement of such positions.

            The Fergana news agency has provided a listing of the ten presidents and their favorite sports (fergananews.com/articles/9380).

·         Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev likes arm wrestling.

·         Armenia’s Serzh Sargsyan likes chess.

·         Belarus’ Alyaksandr Lukashenka likes hockey and skiing.

·         Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev likes tennis, golf, horseback riding and skiing.

·         Kyrgyzstan’s Almazbek Atambayev says he likes hiking but the news agency notes that “so far no one has seen him with a backpack on.”

·         Moldova’s Igor Dodon likes chess.

·         Tajikistan’s Emomali Rakhmn likes soccer.

·         Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov likes horseback riding, biking, motorcycling and fishing.

·         Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev has not shown any preferences at least in public but he is new to the job.

·         Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko likes judo but says he doesn’t like soccer.

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