December 15th, 2011
12:28 PM ET

Garry Kasparov on Vladimir Putin

Editor's Note:  The following image and text is from The Institute of Modern Russia's photography exhibition "Russian Visionaries. Into the Light." The photograph is by Kirill Nikitenko. The text is by Garry Kasparov, the Russian political activist and former World Chess Champion.

Text by Garry Kasparov:

After these elections, even Russians who are far removed from the opposition wonder about their own future and that of their children. And the answers to their questions are heard in the form of the harshest accusations against the current regime.

The world is on the verge of great economic turmoil. It is clear that Putin's Russia is absolutely unprepared for the challenges of these times. By February 2013, I predict the global crisis will gain momentum at this time. Adjustments to oil prices are possible. Markets will fall. Most likely, the ruble will continue to lose value. In this case, I'm afraid that the analogy with Egypt might be too weak. There is no doubt that Putin would give orders to fire on his own people. He is ready to fight and spill blood because he has nowhere to go. The question is whether there are enough people willing to resist.

Therefore, the opposition should realize that parallel alternatives must be created. Today, there are several interesting projects related to the creation of alternative Internet spaces and online independent television outlets. We just have to distance ourselves from this government and build our own. We need to build links between the hundreds of thousands of people who are ready to do something, but who are still in a vacuum. They must be linked together via horizontal networks that will, in time, save the country from the inevitable collapse of the regime.

Russia should not perish along with the Putin regime, but unfortunately, the likelihood of such a catastrophic scenario increases every day. People who are active, hold a clearly defined position, and who are ready to act as free citizens could quickly create a qualitatively different situation in Russia. So the answer to the question of what happens during the regime's death throes depends on the willingness of many people to take part in these changes.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Garry Kasparov.

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Topics: Russia • Uncategorized

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Deep Blue

    Well said! In Egypt, the military is being used for a gradual transition of power. In a country as large and powerful as Russia, a gradual transition is needed if the current government refuses to reform, but a sudden violent uprising or coup would result in a void of power unable to be filled to fulfill the government's responsibilities to the people. It is good that some people are thinking ahead so that a revolution would not be as devastating to the Russian people. Who knows? If reformers gain enough political power, maybe reform will come from the top down, and the tree of liberty will not need to be watered.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Kasparov is an outspoken critic and opponent of Vladmir Putin and is determined to transform Russia into a democracy by toppling the prime minister. After a political odyssey he decided to quit mainstream parties and formed his own. As zealous protest he had to put up with harassment from the police and state security agents (FSB). Hence he has strong reasons to settle a score with Putin.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      please read – PROTESTER...

      December 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • RoboBobo

      Kasparov is a joke inside Russia, think about Jesse Ventura running for the Senate – that will give you an idea about the farce.

      The reality is, Western media props up people like Kasparov because he is pro-U.S. What you don't understand is Russia is a sovereign country, and what the average Russian expects – is a pro-Russian patriot to run for office.

      That's why Kasparov's polling comes in at less than 1% and you can find him making alliances with neo-Nazi's and other tiny unimportant movements – he's operating in that realm.

      Now you want to talk about real Putin opponents, they exist – but the problem for you, is they are just as pro-Russia as Putin himself.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • OccasionalRoamer

        Your ignorant comment about Jesse Ventura is way off the mark. I will prefer him over the vast majority of the clownish politicians in the world, save the corrupt ones in Russia.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
      • Rich M.

        Robo, does Putin let you suck his genitals for every post, or do you get "paid" by the hour?

        December 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  3. Flutra

    yes...every time i see G. Kasparov, IBM and Deep blue come to my mind. G.K. is someone who i admire a lot. So, with my best will i took on reading his 'opinion' and (i dont know if you?) i was 'shocked'! Recently wile trying to understand what happened since January 17-th 2011 for some reason everywhere i tried to go out of the labyrinth it seemed that all roads led me to the same 'exit'. Everything was finishing with the concept of the 'WEB'. Now, reading something like this(for the first time) that actually calls for a 'illegal' shadow government that will play the role of the 'port' where the old ship can be saved; makes me everymore curious about the ways in wich WEB will be used in future. [[[nice one Gerry]]]

    December 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  4. Benedict

    As any observer of Chess is concerned, Kasparov is Einstein. Now,he is applying his unnatural I.Q to the matters of his country,Russia and i can't blame him for a second. His age and intellect means that he has more experience about this matter than a lot of the analyst out there today,which gives credence to his warning on how Russia is heading in the direction of an Arab Spring in this Euro-Asian country!

    December 16, 2011 at 4:04 am | Reply
    • RoboBobo

      Kasparov was great at chess, so was Bobby Fischer. You wouldn't want Bobby Fischer as president, and neither do Russian's think anything of Kasparov.

      It's just amazing, how far removed from reality the common perception in the english speaking world really is – it's not even close.

      Not in the same room.

      Not something we can even debate. It's like debating with you seriously if the moon is made of chesse – you are out in la-la fairy tale land.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
      • Rich M.

        You are full of yourself Robo! I have family in Russia, and most people love Kasparov much more than Putin. Clearly, you are a paid hack, nothing more than an apparatchik for Putin & his cronies...who seek to keep Russia locked in the mid-20th century, under their control.

        These people never gave up on resenting both Yeltsin, and Gorbachev for freeing the Soviet people! They want a full-scale return to the "glory days" where the Russian military reigned supreme, and millions suffered under the yoke of totalitarian gov't.

        Totalitarian gov't is great for people who are in "the inner-circle"...but not so much for everyone else! This little creep Robo is a liar!

        December 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  5. valwayne

    We in the United States aren't faced with as dire a situation as that in Russia, yet we have our own incompetent extreme left wing ideologue to deal with in Obama. A President whose failed Presidential Leadeship is so great as to be historic, and who has damage the U.S. beyond measure and left the nation ill prepared to deal with the financial whirlwinds that are gathering. Yet there is hope in the U.S. We have less than 1 year before we can peacefully rid our nation of the menace of Obama and start to repair the damage he had inflicted. The only question is will we before its too late?

    December 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • jana

      how can you in good faith call obama incompetent? as opposed to the very competent George Bush? or herman cain? or newt grinchrich? or rick sanctorum? or -(insert repub name here). c'mon, just say it already. you want obama to change
      the color of his skin. Theres a lot of black incompetent leadership out there. Obama is not one of them.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Jana, you are so obviously biased, it's laughable. You're playing the race card completely! Yeah.. Obama has such high disapproval ratings because... no, not his terrible handling of the economy! No, not his terrible handling of, well, geeze, tell me something he's done right?! Guantanamo, no. BP oil spill, no. Libya, no. Iran, no. Afghanistan, no. Iraq, yes defaults to Bush (Obama is merely enforcing the withdrawals Bush put in place!) Jobs, no. Healthcare, laughably no. Israel, definitely no. Oh wait though, you're right jana, it's his skin color we all have a problem with! Obama promised me an unemployment rate under 8%, and yet, it's still over that, and I'm still unemployed as a college graduate. The only reason it's even going down is MORE PEOPLE ARE DECIDING TO STOP LOOKING FOR WORK! Kasparov is a chess genius, and I admire his willingness to oppose a thug like Putin.

        December 17, 2011 at 12:50 am |
      • Henry Miller

        About 60% of the population call Obama incompetent because that's what he is. He has no imagination at all–his "solution" to every problem is to blame someone else for his own failures and, by the way, tax the "rich." He is as ideologically wedded to his own Leftist position as any of the Soviet leadership of any of the seventy years during which Communism was destroying Russia and he's incapable of understanding that Leftist approaches to governance never have and never will work in the long run, especially in the US.

        December 17, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  6. dunce

    Both the USA and Russia would be better off if we could trade obama for Putin . Neither would be eligible to participate in local politics and thus be rendered harmless and at least in the USA whoever won the seat of power would be better than what we have.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • simple-truth

      Dunce, you have truly earned your name...that is about the dumbest idea I have ever heard. Putin is so paranoid that he has his political opponents beaten and imprisoned, if not killed. Obama on the other hand, is so incompetent that he could not make a tough decision even if his life depended on it. Neither of these guys would be an asset to any country. Throw both the bums out!

      December 18, 2011 at 3:42 am | Reply

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