Category Archives: kasparov

Kasparov to U.S. Congress: Medvedev is Bait for a Trap

Kasparov

Other Russia reports on Garry Kasparov’s recent testimony before the U.S. Congress (click here to watch a YouTube of his Q&A session afterwards):

On June 17, United Civil Front leader and Solidarity co-leader Garry Kasparov testified before the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the grave state of Russia’s political, judicial, and economic systems. Touching on issues ranging from rampant corruption that has exploded on an exponential scale to the perpetration of terrorist acts in occupied Georgian territory, not to mention the overall lack of freedom of speech or free elections and an endless list of other civil rights violations in the country, Kasparov called on congressional leaders to take a stand and stop treating Vladimir Putin and other corrupt Russian officials as members of an actual democracy in economic and diplomatic affairs.

A full transcript of the speech is printed below. The listed appendices were submitted to the committee along with Kasparov’s testimony.

My thanks to the Committee and to Chairman Ros-Lehtinen for permitting me to testify here today. My name is Garry Kasparov. I was born in the Soviet Union in 1963 and currently live in Moscow. Until my retirement in 2005, I represented first the USSR and then Russia as the world chess champion. After I left the sport, I joined the pro-democracy movement in my country, motivated by the disturbing course change away from freedom that Russia was undergoing under President Vladimir Putin. I could not accept that my own children would grow up in a totalitarian state as I had. And to those who have suggested that I should leave Russia for my family’s convenience and safety, I say that it is my country, one I proudly represented around the world for decades, and so let the KGB leave, not me.

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Where is Kasparov?

Standpoint reports:

Garry Kasparov grew up knowing that coming second was not good enough. This will to win was one of the crucial factors behind the 22-year-old Soviet chess player becoming the youngest-ever World Chess Champion in 1985. He retained his title for 15 years. The ambitious, outspoken youth was seen by the West as the new face of Russian chess — and, more importantly, of the country that was ready for the first time in 70 years to say good-bye to communism and start moving towards democracy. The Cold War, both on and off the chessboard, was over. Kasparov and his fellow players no longer had to be part of it and could concentrate on the game in which they excelled.

Or so it seemed in the heady days when Gorbachev’s reforms awoke a sense of elation in many. That was not to last long. Immediately after retiring from professional chess, Kasparov returned to action — this time on a political battleground. He formed the United Civil Front, a pro-democracy movement, and took an active part in creating The Other Russia, an anti-Putin coalition. After Kasparov’s plans to stand as a candidate for the 2008 Russian presidential race were disrupted — no one was willing to rent him a hall large enough to hold his supporters so he wasn’t allowed to be a candidate — he remained the leader of the UCF, organising an online “Putin must go” campaign.

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PHOTO: Vladimir Putin’s worst Nightmare!

Source:  Oleg Panfilov on Facebook.

Kasparov calls Europe to Arms on Russia

Garry Kasparov, writing in The Guardian  with the endorsement of a host of Russian human rights activists (the article has drawn more than 100 comments):

In the capitals of European democracies, leaders are hailing a new era of co-operation with Russia. Berlin claims a “special relationship” with Moscow and is moving forward on a series of major energy projects with Russian energy giant Gazprom, one of which is led by the former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi traveled to St Petersburg late last year to join in the celebration of his “great friend” Vladimir Putin’s 59th birthday. And in Paris, negotiations are under way for a major arms sale that would allow Russia to acquire one of the most advanced ships in the French navy.

At the same time, democratic dissent inside Russia has been ruthlessly suppressed. On 31 January, the Russian government refused to allow the peaceful assembly of citizens who demonstrated in support of … the right to free assembly, enshrined in article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation: the right “to gather peacefully and to hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets”.

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EDITORIAL: Kasparov lets Obama have It

EDITORIAL

Kasparov lets Obama have It

At last, a leader of the Russian opposition — Garry Kasparov, writing in the Wall Street Journal — has openly declared what everyone has known for months now, that U.S. President Barack Obama is coward and a traitor to the democratic cause.

Kasparov writes:

The first meeting of the loftily named U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Civil Society Working Group took place in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27. Russian presidential first deputy Vladislav Surkov is the group’s co-chair—despite a letter of protest signed by 71 GOP members of the U.S. Congress pointing out that Mr. Surkov is “one of the masterminds behind Russia’s authoritarian course.”  The letter urged President Obama (in vain, as it turned out) to boycott the meetings until Mr. Surkov was replaced, perhaps by someone who hasn’t spent his career actively destroying the sort of civil society this working group is intended to promote.

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Kasparov on Russia and Europe

The Other Russia translates an interview from Yezhedevny Zhurnal with Garry Kasparov:

The idea of European integration set out by opposition leader Garry Kasparov in a recent interview with Yezhednevny Zhurnal was met by an overwhelmingly positive reaction from its readers. Seeing the idea as a genuine and strategic alternative to current Russian foreign policy, many were left wondering if such integration could realistically be achieved.

Therefore, Yezhednevny Zhurnal sat down with Kasparov for another interview, in order to extend the discussion of why European integration is necessary for Russia and how current political posturing on economic and political reforms will inevitably come to naught.

Garry Kimovich, in your opinion, do the nationalist and leftist wings of the National Assembly support the idea of European integration?

The strategic vector of Russia’s future development is, of course, a question for national discussion. At a time when a new global consensus is developing, Russia’s own interests force it to determine who its strategic partners are. It is possible that, as before, part of the left will look towards China. They think that the ruling Chinese Communist Party will implement the correct scenario for the country’s development.

However, in my opinion, if Russia focuses so recklessly on the East, it will inevitably cause our country to lose geopolitical subjectivity. Nothing will come of Russia’s own role, most likely becoming a purely raw-exports role for its active eastern neighbor. China is a very strong player, constantly driving economic expansion. By steadily expanding the limits of its influence, it has already established hegemony over practically the entire Asian expanse.

It is possible that there are some nationalists who, believing in Russia’s divine destiny, will say: “But we don’t need anyone – we’ll handle it ourselves.” I think that all of these utopian theories will come to be rejected as a result of discussion. I do not doubt that in the end, both the nationalists and the leftists will choose the vector of European integration.

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Kasparov in Yezhe

Olga Gulenok of Yezhedevny Zhurnal interviews Garry Kasparov, as translated by The Other Russia.

The Russian National Assembly, a gathering of political and social forces dedicated to democracy in Russia, recently held its second conference on the future organization of the country, “Russia After Putin.” A series of articles of the same name were published by National Assembly bureau member, United Civil Front leader, and Solidarity co-leader Garry Kasparov.

The thoughts and proposals laid out in these articles elicited a stormy reaction from within the internet community. In an interview with Yezhednevny Zhurnal on November 23 to further explain his positions, Kasparov discussed the goals of Russia’s united political opposition, the importance of Russia’s integration into Europe, and the futility of Medvedev’s plans for modernization.

Garry Kimovich, in your opinion, how successful overall has the opposition been in moving forward in the development of its “way of the future,” given that it has been criticized for lacking one?

The National Assembly is an arena that was created for different ideological forces, united by a rejection of the current system, to discuss an agenda for the future of our country. The inability of the governing regime to make changes adequate for the demands of the 21st century has imposed this necessity upon us. Preserving the status quo has lead to the ruin of our state. An understanding of the doom of this regime and of these other menaces – which invariably lead to an uncontrolled collapse through our rotten government agencies – formed the basis for the unification of the opposition.

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