Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov has hailed the dramatic on-air resignation
of reporter Liz Wahl from the Kremlin-backed, English-language RT America network.
"She did the right thing," Kasparov, who is now president of the Human Rights Foundation, told "The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV.
"At least it compensated for her service for Putin's propaganda machine for I don't know how many months or years."
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Disgusted by Russian President Vladimir Putin's military intervention in Ukraine, Wahl cited the "whitewashing" of Putin's actions by Russia Today and said she had faced "ethical and moral challenges” as a journalist there.
Wahl, who worked in RT's Washington bureau, added that her grandparents fled to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution to escape the Soviet military.
“I’m proud to be an American, and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast, I’m resigning,” Wahl said.
Kasparov said Wahl's statements are a strong indictment of the Russian propaganda machine.
"Naturally, her statement helped many Americans to understand the true nature of Russia today being just another puppet arm of Putin's propaganda," he said.
Kasparov said he does not expect much from the Obama administration in fighting Putin and advised President Barack Obama to look to the past.
"Unfortunately it's too late because Putin is not going to take Obama's word as a credible threat. It's too much to be done now to restore the credibility of this office and all I can recommend to Obama is just to remember that his party's not only the party of [George] McGovern and [Jimmy] Carter, it was also the party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy," he said.
"If he learned from history, he should see that Kennedy made so many blunders dealing with [Soviet Union leader Nikita] Khrushchev and ended up with this nuclear crisis, the Caribbean crisis, and eventually he had to demonstrate strength and then only then, Khrushchev backed off."
He also believes Putin's propaganda rises to the level of Adolf Hitler's lies.
"It's the same method, the same algorithm, the same propaganda. In 1938 it was quite difficult to check every lie pronounced by Hitler," he said.
"But today it's probably worse because everything Putin says is a lie and we can check it and he doesn't give a damn because he doesn't believe that words can change anything.
"He can do stuff only by demonstration of strength. Not so much hate, but people who are surrounding him should recognize that there'll be great consequences for their wellbeing."
Kasparov believes the Ukraine crisis is far from over and that Putin's aggressions will likely escalate.
"[Putin is] a paranoid aging dictator who, unfortunately, has nuclear capabilities," he said.
"I don't think that the Western world is capable of stopping Putin right now…. He will move to the Eastern Ukraine, to the Southern Ukraine, and I have no doubt that, eventually, he'll move again to the Baltics.
"He cannot stop because that's illogical for a dictatorship. The economy in Russia is no longer offering high leading standards for the Russian middle class and to compensate for domestic problems, as every dictator [must], he will need foreign policy victories."
Kasparov's group, founded in 2005, is a non-profit organization that promotes and protects human rights around the world, with a focus on closed societies.
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