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Kasparov arrested in Russia

Former world chess champion and current Russian opposition leader Gary Kasparov has been arrested by the Putin regime, several media outlets are now reporting. A synopsis and links from Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy:

Back in 2001 - at a time when George W. Bush was still assuring us that Putin was a "good man" because he had "see[n] into his soul," Kasparov sounded an early warning about the ex-KGB President, noting that "Putin's KGB roots have informed a style of governance that is neither reformist nor particularly democratic" and that Russia's government was sliding towards authoritarianism by suppressing opposition media and playing on nationalistic fears. Since then, Putin has suppressed nearly all opposition electronic media, and probably connived in the murder of print journalists who had criticized the regime.

Kasparov's arrest is not only an outrage in its own right, it is significant as an indicator of Putin's willingness to further tighten his authoritarianism. If Putin is able to get away with arresting even a world-famous opposition leader, less exalted opponents of the government can expect even harsher treatment.

Read the entire post, along with links to more details, at the link above.

This is a stunning and daring move by Putin. Kasparov is a national hero who has been a leading spokesman for democratic reforms since the fall of the Soviet Union. Having spent several years unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate a return match for the title he lost some time ago to Vladimir Kramnik, Kasparov formally retired from competitive chess to become a full-time activist. If Putin can indeed arrest Gazza with impunity, he has completed the return to a Soviet-style police state.

UPDATE 9:42 p.m.: The Australian News.com is reporting that Kasparov was fined roughly $40 and released.

That's good news, but it doesn't mean the "all clear" has been sounded. Putin may have been gaging world reaction to the news for future reference. Being arrested and taken away has a long and fearful history in Russia.

Comments (20)

Does anyone have the fortit... (Below threshold)

Does anyone have the fortitude to report on this story?

"Compare the attention given the Duke case [and the Imus "crime"] with that accorded a far more heinous crime, one whose victims have thus far failed to arouse the sympathies or even the notice of those who found so much enjoyment in their condemnation of the lacrosse players. Chances are, unless you live in Tennessee, you will not recognize the names Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Christian, 21, and Newsome, 23, both of Knoxville, were driving through that city together on the night of January 6 when they were kidnapped and murdered. Newsome's burned body was found along some railroad tracks on January 7. Christian remained missing for two more days until her body, stuffed in a trash can, was found in a home not far from where Newsome's was found. Police and prosecutors allege both victims were raped before being killed. Yes, both. Three men and a woman have been charged with the crimes in a 46-count grand jury indictment handed down in Knoxville on January 31.

Yet the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome are known to almost no one outside Tennessee.


Queue the Darth Vader music... (Below threshold)

Queue the Darth Vader music.

Darby ~ Putin gives Vader t... (Below threshold)

Darby ~ Putin gives Vader the shiverin' fits.

Putin reminds me of the guy in Nosferatu - which movie you can see in its entirety HERE, since it is in the public domain now.

Putin kicked the American M... (Below threshold)

Putin kicked the American Melvins out after they and the Oligarchs, under their Harvard Tough Medicine program, put the country on the auction block and tried to buy it themselves (under Yeltsin).
The oligarchs that escaped Putin bought influence in the US, UK , Israel and Europe and concocted Democracy Platforms in the name of Russia (and Ukraine and Belarus) for Putin to turn down.
If Putin could be thrown from power, the rape of Russia could continue where they left off.
The pace has become more frantic as Russia's economic health (and Putin's popularity)has increased. tick,tick,tick.
The oligarchs have the demonstrators on salary.

Russia is demonstrating sym... (Below threshold)

Russia is demonstrating symptoms of a recrudescence of centrist Soviet domination and Putin is its most effective practitioner to date.

What is disturbing is the Bush Administration's maladroit reading of this regime which has so transparently undermined its nascent move towards self-determination and free markets.

It's economy is in shambles, abortion is commonplace, alcoholism rampant, and the remnants of the KGB have insidiously reasserted themselves into every corner of Russian life.

Kasparov was one of the nation's lone voices for a Western style form of governance and he has always been under the watchful eye of Putin's operatives.

If reports are correct it should be a clarion call for the U.S. to assert its authority and clarify for the world that economic and trade support is predicated on Russia's candid endorsement of a credible and transparent system of governance.

Philip Mella

braynD wishing for a return... (Below threshold)

braynD wishing for a return to the good old days for Russia with democracy crushed and trivialized. I guess anything to stick it to the capitalists.

"I looked the man in the ey... (Below threshold)

"I looked the man in the eyes and I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his soul."

G.W.Bush on Putin, whom he nicknamed "Pootie-poot"

What's just been awesome is... (Below threshold)

What's just been awesome is how we're in a Cold War and we don't even know it.

Russia has propped up both Iraq and Iran with resources and foot dragging on international diplomacy. That way we are preoccupied with the Middle East and ignoring his crushing of Democracy in his own country and his manipulation to bring former Soviet States back under Russian control.

That's Cold War politics pure and simple.

jpm100, Self deter... (Below threshold)


Self determination is my byword. And I'm my own capital and do quite well (leaving me time to waste here!).
It's just that there's dirty money behind the "democracy" movement. Don't take them at face value. They briefly gained power via the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, and were kicked back out in disgust. And they're pressing Belarus. No Putin there. It's just that they're outmatched in the EU, so must find weak sheep. And find Slavic faces to front the thing.

bryanD, of course, is a con... (Below threshold)

bryanD, of course, is a confirmed Stalinist, and therefore sees "BadThink" in any movement which questions Stalinist authorities.

Whether Putin actually leav... (Below threshold)

Whether Putin actually leaves office when his term is up and doesn't run for re-election as promised will be interesting to see given his iron-fisted grip on Russian politics.

Meanwhile PRAVDA, the old fashioned propaganda mouthpiece for the old Soviet government has taken on a safe place in postSoviet journalism by offering largely tabloid content including last week's photo feature on nude Russian female film and TV stars. Not your father's PRAVDA. But then again far safer than challenging Putin which would mean certain arrest.

We remember in China...the ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

We remember in China...the brief glimpse of hope..c'mon the Statue of Liberty as a symbol in T. Square...and the repression that followed..

Russia...the same thing will happen...
and we will say "oh no..this is wrong"
But all these years later...as we mortgage our debt to china...as we go shopping at Wal-Mart and so many other places that import from China...

Does anyone believe that if we can just transform Iraq...into a place like China?...

When P crushes democratic opposition...
...we will do what we did with China..

Let Bush/Cheney...talk about spreading democracy..in the middle east...
..and sit back..as Communist Totalitarians ..
put their boot on the throat of
Russians wanting more...
..or of course the spineless EU.. after all
P's Russia supplies the energy...

I await folks here to condemn Bush/Cheney for their failure to address the Russian Communist suppression...

.....didn't think so....

"....and Senator Joe Biden ... (Below threshold)

"....and Senator Joe Biden is calling for military intervention into Russia, as soon as we get done in the Sudan....."

ah metprof...a link please.... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

ah metprof...a link please...or is this just your opinion?

Didn't think so...

Try to link up with your ow... (Below threshold)

Try to link up with your own sense of humour.

bD, so that explains why So... (Below threshold)

bD, so that explains why Soros just put 2% of his fortune into Halliburton.

For the full details on the... (Below threshold)

For the full details on the rise of the neo-Soviet Union, see here:


I think everyone is making ... (Below threshold)

I think everyone is making much more of this than should be. From what I understand, Kasparov had a permit to march in a certain area. He marched where he DID NOT have a permit hence he was arrested. In other words, he did not follow the law and thus was arrested.

To be fair, they probably h... (Below threshold)

To be fair, they probably heard that he was planning on opening with the king's gambit and put him in custody for his own protection. When they found out that it was the QUEEN'S gambit they let him off with the 40 bucks. Really, now, who could blame them?

Nogo....it was a JOKE....</... (Below threshold)

Nogo....it was a JOKE....

Get a sense of humor, to go with all your compassion.






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