Chess master Kasparov slams Putin over Turkey sanctions

Former Russian world chess champion Garry Kasparov slams Russian President Vladimir Putin over sanctions against Turkey and support for Bashar al Assad

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov

World famous Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov has been on a Twitter rampage recently against Russian President Vladimir Putin, including over the latter's decisions concerning Turkey.

A prominent opposition figure in Russia, Kasparov, 52, has slammed the Putin administration's decision to cease food imports from Turkey and end a visa-free travel with Turkey after the downing of a Russian fighter jet that violated Turkish airspace on Nov. 24.

"Putin blocks Turkish imports and ends visa-free travel. As usual, it's his economic actions that hurt average Russians, not those of enemies," Kasparov tweeted on Nov. 27.

He also tweeted about the Moscow-imposed ban on tourist packages to Turkey, as well as the suspension of flights to Egypt, "If Egypt and Turkey are off the list, the foreign tourism market is nearly dead for most Russians."

Travel agencies in Russia have suspended the sale to Russian citizens of package trips to Turkey, and - since a Russian airliner crashed shortly after taking off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh two weeks ago - Moscow has cut off air links between the two countries.

Kasparov did not stop there. He later said that the Putin administration supported President Bashar al-Assad killing civilians in Syria.

"Putin helps Assad kill civilians and destroy all opposition except ISIS [DAESH], with whom they are doing a nice oil business. Ally vs terror?!"

"But is already proof that Assad and Putin do profitable business with ISIS. They don't care about Syria or Russia, only money and power to keep it," Kasparov remarked on Twitter on Monday.

"Syria barely exists now and Assad is a mass-murderer. He and Putin may deserve each other but the Syrian people don't," he had written on Nov. 24.

On Nov. 25, he tweeted, "10 years ago I said if you wanted to understand Putin's regime don't read political science, read Mario Puzo [author of The Godfather]. It's a mafia. Follow the money!"

Kasparov also mentioned the annexation by Russia of Crimea, writing, "Putin has lied - blatantly, demonstrably - about everything his military is doing from Crimea to Ukraine to Syria. Why believe him now?"

When the Russian fighter jet was shot down by Turkey, Garry Kasparov tweeted, "Putin and his commanders tell their pilots to ignore NATO warnings, to test their resolve again. Playing with their lives to look tough."

In his book "Winter is Coming," originally published in October, Kasparov accused the West and the US government of being too soft on Putin.

In his book, Kasparov claims that Russia has passed into dictatorship from democracy.

After Vladimir Putin became Russian president in 1999, Kasparov states western countries and the US did nothing to prevent Putin from becoming a dictator and subsequently an international threat.