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Kasparov vows to check Putin
Question of the Day
TORONTO — Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who has become a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he fears for his safety but vows to keep pushing for democracy in the country.
In a speech last week to the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto, Mr. Kasparov said he must overcome those fears to continue his opposition work as leader of the United Civil Front, a social movement that is part of an opposition coalition called Other Russia.
“I’m a human being,” said Mr. Kasparov. “I have my own fears for myself — for my physical safety — for loved ones.”
“Russia today is a police state masquerading as a democracy — a mask worn for the international community,” he said. “We ask that the leaders of the free world stop providing Putin with democratic credentials. We ask for an end of hypocrisy.”
“Canada and the United States and Europe are doing a lot of business with China but nobody is rushing to call Chinese leaders democrats,” he said.
He added that Other Russia would work to implement political reform, reduce the power of the presidential office, restore institutions such as the judiciary and police, and give back power from the Kremlin to Russia’s regions.
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