Like all of you, I grew up knowing Garry Kasparov as a chess grandmaster, perhaps the greatest chess player of all time. I generally followed his transition to outspoken, everywhere-on-western-media critic of Putin without any particular feeling, other than that his main purpose seemed self promotion, and, having lived in New York, and Croatia, for years, he seemed out of touch with both the reality of Russia, and the lives / wishes of his fellow Russians.
There is also the fact that Kasparov very much has his own personal vendetta against president Putin, with his own political ambitions in Russia failing to get off the ground. That 2007, and since then Kasparov has waged his own campaign against Putin, finding a friend in a western media more than sympathetic to having such a venerable figure to call on, whenever it suits their own agenda. And of course, anyone who remembers Kasparov and Deep Blue, knows he’s a man to harbour a grudge.
Indeed, the position of Kasparov, now a Croatian citizen even, can always be taken as a given – whatever Putin is for, he’s against, and vice versa. In 2013, he accused Russia’s FSB (by default, Putin) of covering up for the Boston bombers, he called the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as ‘to Putin what the Berlin Olympics were to Hitler in 1936’. He has been an active, constant opponent of Russian military action in Syria. And Crimea for example, despite the people there emphatically voting to be a part of Russia in 2014, after a far-right, unelected government took power after the Euromaidan coup in Ukraine … Kasparov supports Crimea being returned to Ukraine as soon as the ‘evil reign’ of Putin is over….
All of which you can agree or disagree with, and in any case, Kasparov, who champions himself as such, and is promoted by western media as a ‘pro-democarcy activist’, is entitled to his opinion.
But, whatever your politics, Kasparov’s reaction to Monday’s terror attack in St Petersburg, which killed 14, with over 50 wounded, was shocking.
Kasparov’s first tweet, shortly after his learning of the attack, on April 3rd, was bad enough, immediately blaming it on Putin before even the most preliminary of investigations had begun. But his second was truly shocking, even by his standards –
A break came only when Kasparov announced that he was due to appear on CNN , to discuss the attack. However, he was back later, still on topic –
The St Petersburg metro attack – for most, a horrific act of terror, a devastating tragedy. For Garry Kasparov, a handy excuse to continue his vendetta against Putin, and plug his book…