Tags: Russia | Garry Kasparov | Vladimir Putin | Boris Nemtsov

Garry Kasparov: West Must Punish Putin for Opposition Leader's Death

Garry Kasparov: West Must Punish Putin for Opposition Leader's Death
(Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti/Kremlin/POOL/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 02 March 2015 10:03 AM

Human rights crusader Garry Kasparov bemoaned the "culture of fear and death" inside Vladimir Putin's Russia, which he says served to kill his friend and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Kasparov, considered among the world's greatest chess champions and now the International Council chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, claimed such murders and the violent silencing of one of Putin's biggest detractors would continue to occur as long as he is in office and as long as the West turns a blind eye to Putin's conduct.

"We cannot know exactly what horror will come next, only that there will be another and another while President Putin remains in power. The only way his rule will end is if the Russian people and the elites understand that they have no future as long as he is there," Kasparov wrote in a column published by the Journal on Sunday.

His outrage continued as thousands took to the streets of Moscow Sunday to mourn and quietly protest after Nemtsov was gunned down near the Kremlin on Friday, The Guardian reported.

"He died for the future of Russia," some placards in his honor said.

But Kasparov noted that the murder only emboldens the Putin regime, even as the U.S. said it is seeking a meaningful probe into the slaying.

"Right now, no matter how they really feel about Mr. Putin and their lives, they see him as invincible and unmovable. They see him getting his way in Ukraine, taking territory and waging war. They see him talking tough and making deals with Angela Merkel and Fran├žois Hollande. They see his enemies dead in the streets of Moscow."

Kasparov and Nemtsov had been both close and also opponents as they spoke out publicly about Putin's erosion of any sort of democracy in Russia. Nemtsov had told him that it would take time for change to occur there, but with the silencing of his powerful voice, Kasparov argued that it's only a matter of time before another of the regime's detractors is silenced.

He added that Western media have been complicit in reporting Russian propaganda. And the same leaders who have denounced the murder continue to watch on the sidelines as Putin does what he wants. They must punish Putin for his actions and cut off funds in the West that help him to continue, Kasparov said.

Wrote Kasparov in the Journal: "If these leaders truly wish to honor my fearless friend, they should declare their support for the many tens of thousands of marchers who turned Sunday's protest rally into a funeral procession. Western leaders should declare in the strongest terms that Russia will be treated like the criminal rogue regime it is for as long as Mr. Putin is in power.

"Call off the sham negotiations. Sell weapons to Ukraine that will put an unbearable political price on Mr. Putin's aggression. Tell Russian oligarchs, every one of them, that there is no place their money will be safe in the West as long as they serve the Putin regime."

He added: "We may never know who killed Boris Nemtsov, but we do know that the sooner President Putin is gone, the better the chances are that the chaos and violence Boris feared can be avoided."

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Human rights crusader Garry Kasparov bemoaned the "culture of fear and death" inside Vladimir Putin's Russia, which he says served to kill his friend and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Putin, Boris Nemtsov
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2015-03-02
Monday, 02 March 2015 10:03 AM
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