Friday, November 9, 2018

Former Ukrainian President Takes Over the Wrong ‘Stan

GPS Error Leads to Errant Coup in Tajikistan

by Jeff Briskin

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN. Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych thought he was embarking on a promising new career as the strongman of a former Soviet republic when he led a battalion of elite Russian mercenaries in the violent overthrow of the Tajikistan government.
But shortly after he gained control of the landlocked central Asian country, he discovered that he had taken over the wrong ‘Stan.
“We originally planned to invade Turkmenistan,” said a dejected Yanukovych in a recent interview with reporters at the presidential palace in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
“That place would have been perfect. Huge natural gas reserves, excellent Caspian Sea harbors, and the hottest women in all of the Caucasus.”
“Tajikistan, however, is a total dump. Per capita income is the lowest of all the former Soviet republics. Half the population are radical Muslims and the other half are married to their siblings. The country’s largest export is chickpeas and everyone still uses dial-up Internet access. AOL disks are more valuable than gold here.”
Yanukovych blames the errant coup on his TomTom GPS.
“Our convey started from Atyrau in Kazakhstan, with the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat set as our destination. But apparently one of my aides forgot to update the TomTom’s maps before we left. Instead of telling us to take the R-110 south it sent us more than 2,000 miles east on the A-380. Since none of us know any of these damned central Asian languages we couldn’t read the road signs or ask for directions. Somehow we ended up in Dushanbe, but before we could figure out where the hell we were we had already ousted President Emomalii Rahmon, dissolved the Parliament, defeated the army and killed hundreds of innocent civilians.”
An email from TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn rebuked Yanukovych's assertion that the GPS was at fault for the error.
"Our GPS products have had correct maps and routes for the entire Caucasus since 2012. It's far more likely that Yanukovych's aide simply entered the wrong 'des-stan-nation.' Get it?"
Yanukovych has apologized to the Tajik people and offered to turn over control of the government to civilian authorities or any would-be dictator, but his efforts are facing stiff resistance.
“It turns out no one wants to run the damned place. Now I know why.”