Garry Kasparov: When Putin faces problems inside the country, it draws the eye outward (PHOTO)

Гарри Каспаров: Когда Путин сталкивается с проблемами внутри страны, он обращает взор вовне (ФОТО)

Former world chess champion, Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov on the pages of the American newspaper The Washington Post in his article titled “Leaders of the free world should not forgive Putin his crimes” comments on the latest repression of the Kremlin authorities against protesting against the illegitimate elections in Moscow.

“Putin is not reconciled with the fact that the next local elections in Russia on 8 September did not go according to planned scenario. Despite the now familiar methods of arrests and banning independent candidates, beatings of peaceful demonstrators and comprehensive support to the “right” candidates by means of nationalized media, the ruling party “United Russia” has suffered electoral losses throughout the country and in particular in Moscow,” writes Kasparov.

“Four days later, Putin’s security services staged the biggest manhunt in 20 years of Putin’s rule. Searches were held in 43 cities across Russia, the police broke into the headquarters and apartments of oppositionists and activists confiscated documents, computers and even coffeemakers. This show of strength was evidence that Putin’s power over Russia is actually not as strong as he wants it to represent. Propaganda is not enough, and he turned to open violence, first against the protesters, and then use raids, the purpose of which is not even put behind bars, but to intimidate – to instill fear among ordinary citizens”, – quotes the politician translation of his article in Facebook.

“Bystanders may be arrested and go to prison for “violence” against employees of power structures – formulation, which seven years ago was used to justify my arrest” – like policies.

Kasparov: “Putin, there is every possible trait of a dictator”

“Putin’s popularity had declined to the extent that the Russians have felt the economic decline, stagnation, exacerbated by Western sanctions for the outbreak of the war Putin against Ukraine. It is highly likely that an attempt of dealing with the opposition will lead to a further decline in the authority of Putin.

Whenever Putin faces problems inside the country, it draws the eye outward. This is usually expressed in society impose a certain perspective, to put Putin a brave defender of the Motherland. However, in recent years more and more Russians openly criticized him bloody and costly adventure in Syria and Ukraine. In the current dangerous confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Putin’s partner, Iran, Putin will be happy to Stoke the flames of conflict, knowing it would drive the price of oil – a gift for the oil-dependent Russian economy and a pledge for the retention of power in the country.

And when the position Putin is becoming less stable, the US President Donald trump and the President of France Emmanuel macron, as the leaders of the free world, throw him a lifeline. Cajoling Putin’s trump, and so well documented. France, despite sanctions, has increased the volume of trade with Russia, and macron recently repeated the words of trump, while expressing support for the return of Russia to the group of leading industrialized countries. This idea defies reasonable explanation, given that Russia was excluded from the “Big eight” in 2014 for armed invasion and annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, which still remains occupied by Russia.

When the West sends such a forgiving signals, Putin immediately uses them to show the Russian elites that he is still a respected man that only he can achieve the lifting of sanctions – and that he’s not going anywhere,” writes the politician.

“Instead of deterring Putin from further aggressive actions, whether it be meddling in the election or the invasion of a neighboring country, is “peace” tells him that there is no reason to change their behavior. In fact, the necessary United front of free Nations, claiming that Russia will come out of isolation until they give up repression inside the country and criminal adventures abroad.

I helped to draw up an open letter calling for such a response, and it was signed by prominent experts in politics, diplomacy, law, art and human rights from around the world and with different political views. The letter contains an appeal to the leaders of democratic countries to abandon the international recognition of Putin’s legitimacy that he craves, and to sever economic ties, which he uses for the spread of corruption and the financing of internal political repression, hybrid wars and assassinations around the world.

It can’t happen overnight. The last thing the US before the year’s presidential race, is encouraged by Putin, this time with my favorite candidate, with the authority of the President. Surprisingly, in the debate of democratic candidates last week, the word “Russia” was not mentioned even once. The Democrats, as in the past and the Republicans seem to ignore the fact that US intelligence agencies believe one of the most serious threats to national security.

On Monday it became known that Russia hacked into the FBI communications in 2010, while then-President Barack Obama toyed with the absurd idea of a “reset” of relations with Putin. Trump managed to aggravate the situation. Why try to overhear the conversations of the President, if he will call you and talk for himself? Just imagine how much valuable information can receive from a former KGB officer for a couple of hours a private conversation, like the one that took place last year in Helsinki.

I was honored to speak last Thursday at a conference in Toronto, dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin that set the stage for the Second world war. The event was dedicated to two main themes: a reminder to the world that Stalin was an ally of Hitler-in-arms for nearly two years, and sounding the alarm about Putin’s project to rehabilitate the reputation of Stalin.

Lithuanian political scientist Marius Laurinavicius made at this event with a very strong speech. He noted that in democratic States citizens is inexcusable to accuse elected representatives in the way in which they lead their countries. The onus is on each of their citizens: “It is you, that’s all we are.” Unlike the Russian people, citizens of the free world can prosecute their politicians, and long overdue,” writes Kasparov on the pages of The Washington Post.