Garry Kasparov on Putin and the ‘Virus of Imperialism’ | WSJ Free Expression | April 11, 2022


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Speaker 1: From the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, this is Free Expression, with Gerry Baker.

Gerry Baker: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Free Expression with me, Gerry Baker, from the Wall Street Journal editorial page. We are delighted that you’re listening to this podcast. If you enjoy it, please be sure to subscribe at Apple Podcast or wherever you listen to your podcast, and please also be kind enough to leave us a favorable review. Now at the journal’s editorial page, we believe strongly in free expression. And so each week on this podcast, we explore in depth and candor with the help of a leading commentator, a major issue of topical importance, events of historical significance, which is something that we find fascinating. This week as the war in Ukraine rages on, I’m very pleased to be joined by Garry Kasparov. Gary was born and raised in the Soviet Union and of course is a former world chess champion, and one of the most recognized chess grand masters in the world. But in recent years, he’s been an outspoken commentator and a strong proponent of liberal democracy. He’s been a particular fierce opponent of Vladimir Putin, and he left Russia a decade ago and lives in New York now. In 2015, he published a book called Winter Is Coming, in what now looks a remarkably prescient warning that Putin would take advantage of the appeasement he was facing from the West to expand Russia’s global power by force if he wasn’t stopped, and seven years later here we are with Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine. Garry Kasparov, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Garry Kasparov: Thank you very much for inviting me.

Gerry Baker: So you were indeed right. A lot of people were skeptical and indeed the whole history of the West’s perhaps engagement with Vladimir Putin over the last decade or so has been repeatedly refusing to see what was in front of its face in terms of what his real intentions were and his determination to go about achieving them. Do you think that this invasion of Ukraine has now changed everything? Do you think we really do now fully understand and grasp the threat and the need to do something about it?

Garry Kasparov: I can only hope so, because to understand Putin, all we had to do was to listen. My first article of warning was published in the Wall Street Journal in January 4th, 2001. And all I did, I just was listening to Putin’s own words. And when Putin said that there were no such a thing as a former KGB agent, I knew that Russia’s fragile democracy was in danger. And when Putin said, actually repeatedly said that collapse with the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of 20th century, I knew Russians knew the independent neighbors were at risk. And eventually when Putin talked at the Munich Security Conference, 15 years ago in 2007, about return to (inaudible) of influence I knew he was ready to launch his attack because that was the language of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pack, language used by Hitler and Stalin to divide Europe. And of course, next year he attacked Republic of Georgia. And I remember that after this attack, which for me was just the most convincing proof of his intentions, the West didn’t respond. They tried to spread the blame between the Republic of Georgia and then President Mikheil Saakashvili and Putin’s Russia though, technically Putin was not the president at the time. He was puppet master behind the stage, having his shadow man Medvedev sitting in Kremlin. And America, instead of doing something, offered a reset policy. And I wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal, and I predicted attack on Ukraine. And later people asked me, “How did you know?” I said, “I looked at the map.” And then of course Crimea. I mean, what else did you need to understand that Putin would not respect any international treat signed by Russia. And for him, Crimea was a very important step in this direction because American and Great Britain had some kind of legal responsibilities to defend Ukraine because in 1994, there was a so-called Budapest Memorandum, when after heavy pressure from Clinton administration, Ukrainians gave up their nuclear arsenal, which few people remember was a third largest in the world. Ukraine have more nuclear warheads than China, France, and Great Britain combined. And then, what we heard is, “Oh, memorandum is then not a binding document.” And Putin heard what he wanted, so where he could continue his expansion, recovering Soviet Russian influence without any consequences, because the sanctions that were announced, though they were (inaudible) as something very powerful, they had almost no impact on Russian economy.

Gerry Baker: Well, why do you think, as you spell out the history very clearly. And if you look at the successive American administrations, George W. Bush famously, of course, said he looks into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. And then as you say, invasion of Georgia happened in 2008. Nothing was really done about it then. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when they came in 2009, talked about the reset with Russia. Then we had the war in Eastern Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea nothing was done about it. I mean, what were they doing? Why were we willfully suspending our skepticism or indeed our concern about Putin? Was it because we thought there were bigger geopolitical concerns and that Russia in the end was no longer the big threat that we thought it was during the Cold War.

Garry Kasparov: I think we have to start earlier. We have to start was Bush 41, was not, was Bush 43. I often suffered criticism from those parties while criticizing president from another party. And my response is I have a record actually on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, criticizing six consecutive presidents, three for Republicans and three Democrats, four of their policies. I’m nonpartisan, but I believe that for current failures of American foreign policy, we have to go back as far as 1991. I think that this administration now, Biden administration, is having the same kind of fear as Bush 41 had in 1991. It was infamous speech in Kiev a few months before the collapse on the Soviet Union.

Gerry Baker: So called Chicken Kiev speech (crosstalk)-

Garry Kasparov: Chicken Kiev allegedly penned by Condoleezza Rice. And the message was-

Gerry Baker: By the way, she denied that on this very podcast, she denied that she’d written it, but-

Garry Kasparov: Maybe (inaudible). Whoever wrote it, so that it’s somebody there from general school of stuff. Maybe it was Jim Baker. It doesn’t matter who actually wrote it, he delivered it. And the message was absolutely clear. So Ukraine must stay in the Soviet Union because it could have drastic consequences for Ukraine and for the Soviet Union if they follow nationalists or for choose a succession. And I understand the fear that because they didn’t know what to expect after the collapse of the Soviet Union, same problems, because of nuclear weapons and chaos. And I think now we are seeing the repetition of the same unfortunate US policy failure. It’s a fear that a Putin’s military defeat Ukraine could lead to the collapse of is a dictatorship and eventually, a collapse of Russia. So I think that going back to the ’90s is the problem with, now we’re going to Clinton administration, was that the end of the Cold War was a big surprise for Americans as well as anyone else. And instead of coming up with a new game plan, because America was a winner, the free world won the Cold War, but it was time to think about new strategy, time to think about game plan for the world. Same way as Truman administration worked out a plan in 1946. At that time, they had to face George of Stalin and his unsatiable due political ambitions. And this administration, Harry Truman’s administration, built all the institutions that helped America to stop communism and eventually defeat it four decades later. And there was a plan. You had presidents from both Democrats and Republicans having maybe some differences, but still following the plan. And in 1991, we needed something else than simply being stuck with the old international institutions, one of the problems with United Nations. It was created 1945 to prevent a war, another war, most likely between Soviet Union and the United States. But in 1991, we needed organization that could help us solving problems, not freezing them. And I think that the fact is that Bill Clinton became president when America was all-powerful and could basically dictate its terms to the rest of the world. And when he left, Al-Qaeda was ready to strike. Already now, it was an indication that something was wrong.

Gerry Baker: I mean, and also to be fair, a part again, Al-Qaeda was ready to strike, Al-Qaeda did strike, and of course, Russia, Putin, was very quick to offer support and help to the United States then. So I suppose there was some… Again, we were strategically distracted first by terrorism and then subsequently by China and maybe that explains why we were kind of willing to turn a blind eye to a lot of what Putin was doing and saying, and eventually doing.

Garry Kasparov: Yes. But there were indications about the rise of Russian nationalism, even on the Yeltsin, the Iranian problem, which it’s still a big headache today and it’s known no one knows how to solve it. The Iranian problem goes all the way back to 1994, when Bill Clinton visited Moscow, having bipartisan resolution that enabled him to threaten Yeltsin to cut any funding of Russia that was like a lifeline, for Russia (inaudible) at the time, if Russia continued its nuclear corporation with Iran, and he did nothing. Oh, it says, “Yeah, fine. Let’s move on.” So that was not a big issue.

Gerry Baker: Sorry to interrupt Garry, because I’m fascinated by this, but you describe what’s happening in Russia to Putin’s expansionism and his aggression, but there are other people. People from George Kennan to Robert Gates, who I actually had on the podcast last week and in Russia from Boris Yeltsin to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said particularly about Ukraine, that Ukraine was a particularly important, valuable, sensitive issue for Russia and that it’s not just Putin, that it’s ingrained in sort of Russian self-identity and Russian geopolitical outlook. Like, and Ukraine could not simply be allowed to go along with the West and joining NATO or joining the EU because that would represent something that would really tear at the heart of Russia itself. You don’t agree with that?

Garry Kasparov: Yes and no. You’re right. It’s ingrained in the matrix of Russian nationalism, of Russian imperialism. But we are in 21st century. I mean, if we want to solve global problems, we have to eradicate the virus of imperialism. And as for Russian nationalists, I know quite well, (inaudible) the different factions there and they’re not very cohesive. So yes, there are some of these groups and of course, Putin belongs ideologically to these groups that believe that Russia has rights for Ukraine and even for other parts of Russian empire. But there are many, and by the way, most of them are in exile now or in jail, who believed and still believe that Russia is having criminal war in Ukraine because the future of Russia, it’s an integration in Europe maybe as a consideration of Russian republics. They are less concerned about Russian through their integrity. If Tatarstan or Chechnya would like to be separate, fine. But again, it’s an ideological fight inside even this nationalist moment. But of course, the free world had to respond at early stage at any sign of recurring Russian nationalism. That’s why I mentioned Boris Yeltsin. And then of course, Putin demonstrated it and spoke about it quite frankly. And I think every time when he spoke about it, that’s why I mentioned the conference in Munich in 2007, he had no response. The moment when Putin talked about (inaudible), Americans had to respond even harshly to tell him that just remember it’s 21st century, this is not 19th century. And it’s not surprising that Putin eventually got a message, what he wanted to hear, same way as Hitler (inaudible) is. “Oh, I could do that.” And then he thought that he could go even beyond Europe. We talked about 2014 Crimea. I it think was a result of Obama’s blinking in 2013, when he decided against intervention in Syria, that’s, I think for me it was mandatory because he draw the red line and he had to shoot when Assad crossed it.

Gerry Baker: We need to take short break there, but when we come back, we’ll have more with Garry Kasparov on the future of Russia and the world. Welcome back. We’re talking with former world chess champion and a current champion of liberal democracy in the world, Garry Kasparov. Let’s look at what’s going on now, again, whatever the intent of Putin, whatever his larger ambitions. I think we can all agree that the war in the first six, seven weeks has not gone according to his expectations or frankly, according to pretty well anyone’s expectations. The Ukrainians have been putting up a hell of a fight significantly with weapons from the West, from NATO countries and others, and is really rebuffing. Looks like the Russians have essentially withdrawn from Kiev or the areas around Kiev, which there was their initial target to seize the capital quickly. They’ve fallen back there. Seem to be fighting, concentrating their forces now in the east and the south. What’s your sense, knowing Putin as you do, and knowing his geopolitical ambitions, what’s your sense now of what Putin’s objectives are now that he’s clearly failed to achieve that first knockout strike that he seemed to be going for? What do you think he might be willing to accept (inaudible) of that?

Garry Kasparov: Frankly speaking, I don’t care what he might be willing to accept. I think we all owe Ukrainians every resource, every weapon they need to win this war. So I think that’s a very wrong concept. What do you say now? This is Western strategy. The Western policy is still looking for any means or ways to offer Putin off ramps.

Gerry Baker: And again, in the end, the Ukrainians, we have to do what we can for the Ukrainians.

Garry Kasparov: No, we don’t agree with that, yes, but let’s not forget. In 1994, United States pressed Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons. I think that it’s maybe not today, but definitely before the war, this administration have been pressing the Ukrainians to accept so called Minsk deal that would offer Putin political control of Ukraine. Ukraine was a destruction for this administration and still a destruction now. And when you said Putin expected to win the work quickly, yes. So CIA and so Pentagon. So yes, I’m shocked now that the Director Burns and General Millie, those who blundered here, because they talked about Ukraine capital would fall in 96 hours. That Ukraine would not last for more than three or four days. They are still calling the shots. And I think this administration now is just has no clear strategy how to work with Ukraine. It blocks supply of modern weapons for Ukraine to win the war. You said that western weapons. 99% of the weapons supply to Ukraine, it’s based on the concept that it will be another Afghanistan of Vietnam. Those are the countries that were brought in by American officials because they thought Ukraine army would be destroyed and then we’ll talk about real war. So fine, javelin stingers and all sorts of this small arms, but you do not win war with this kind of weapons. And planes, a long range artillery, a missile that can hit Russian warships that are shelling Ukraine cities from Black Sea. Heavy armor. So all this is blocked by the United States.

Gerry Baker: So, again, I think we have to agree that it’s up to the Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his government what kind of terms they end this war on. But in your view, we in the West should urging him to fight for victory, to go for all out victory, defeat Russia, get them completely off the territory of Ukraine and do whatever we can to achieve that. Is that what you say?

Garry Kasparov: No. Again, as you said, urging him. We have no moral rights to urge Ukraine to do whatever. If they decide to give a part of the territory, that’s their choice. If they want to fight to the bitter end, that’s their choice. We have to support them and offer them every resource, every weapon, to win the war and that’s what we are not doing. And for us to be real friends of Ukraine, and also to take care about our own safety, because God for forbid, Putin wins in Ukraine, he will not stop there. And are you sure that this piece of paper called Article 5 will stop him? I’m shocked to that oh, we have no obligations to defend Ukraine because it’s not member of NATO, but we will fight for every inch of NATO territory. How come? Are you going to fight in (inaudible) in Poland against Martians or against the same Russians? If you’re afraid of Putin’s nukes, why these nations should believe America that America will come to their rescue facing Putin army, (inaudible) army that will be fresh of success in Ukraine. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to destroy Putin’s war machine using Ukrainian manpower and determination and their spirit and all we need is to offer them real help, give them weapons. And also, in the strategy and strategy includes not only tanks, but also banks.

Gerry Baker: Again, I don’t fundamentally disagree, but we do have a different moral obligation, don’t we, to members of NATO than we do to Ukraine. I mean the whole point of being a member of NATO and the whole point, I think of why NATO has so far declined to admit Ukraine is because we are prepared to do whatever it takes to defend NATO countries and that if you are, by definition, if you’re outside that alliance, we aren’t under the same obligation to you.

Garry Kasparov: But why Ukraine was not admitted in 2008? They ask (inaudible) 2008 to be admitted. The war would not take place if Ukraine are member of NATO. And also it’s either… You’re talking about obligations. I don’t know what’s moral obligations, or you’re talking about piece of paper. Again, Budapest memoranda was now in the same piece of paper. I don’t want for us to check if Article 5 is also piece of paper the moment Putin crosses a native borders in Lithuania or Poland, actually most likely Lithuania, small country that doesn’t have the same resource as Ukraine to fight back. But again, I bring us back to strategy, because right now it’s what I see, actually what I don’t see, it’s a cohesive strategy by the free world to oppose Putin, because we hear so many statements about what America and the West will not do, but we don’t hear anything about what we will do and Putin reads them and moves on. “We will not close skies.” Great. “We will not respond to the Russians use of WMDs.” Okay. For me, that’s disastrous because that will (inaudible) Putin and also will give sense of impunity to his generals and admiral that will have to carry this criminal order if it, God forbid, comes from Kremlin.

Gerry Baker: What do you think are the risks and again, what’s concerning the Biden administration and presumably most other NATO countries, although not those immediate neighbors, I think it’s fair to say, but certainly the western flank of NATO anyway, is this concern that Putin will escalate, that he will use either on the Ukrainians or God forbid, even beyond that, he will use weapons and mass destruction and possibly even escalate and this part of this, this idea of escalate to deescalate, that’s part of Russian military doctrine. Do you think that’s one, either overrated, that either the fear of that is overrated or two, doesn’t matter. The stakes are so high here that frankly, even if he is going to escalate, we’d have to face him down.

Garry Kasparov: By way, do you remember when Russia included this nuclear element in its military doctrine so it’s the Russian doctrine actually allowed to use nukes in the regional conflicts in 2009?

Gerry Baker: Yeah. Yeah.

Garry Kasparov: In 2009. So at the time where Obama and Clinton were busy just working with (inaudible) policy, Russia upgraded “its military policy” to include nukes as permmitable tool for regional conflicts. Now speaking about this is again, use, again, I heard you saying, “Oh, if Russia uses it in Ukraine or God forbid beyond Ukraine in NATO territories.” For me, that’s constitutes a real problem. What if they use, let’s start with chemical. A chemical warhead that lands in a Western Ukraine, one mile away from Polish border. Are we going to start measuring this is a distance?And by the way, Putin can do it, same with nukes. So it could land in Ukraine, but it will definitely affect NATO countries. Is it aggression against NATO? I bet you know there will be people in Washington are in Brussels in other European capital saying, “No, no, no, no, no. We had experts there. They found out that it did not hit NATO territory. And we promised to defend every inch of NATO territory, but it was five inches on Ukrainian side.” So that’s a problem. Because the adequate response means that NATO and of course, it reads America, must say now that any Russian military base or warship that fires warhead missile with a nuclear or chemical warhead will be immediately destroyed. And then that we have a chance, a very good chance in my opinion, that those who are responsible to carry Putin’s order, these admirals in generals, they will be seriously considering whether they have to push the button because they will die in five minutes or they will have to sabotage? Right now, the escalation is in Putin’s hands. He keeps escalating. And by the way, killing civilians in thousands probably now in 10s of thousands doesn’t qualify as escalation or we don’t care.

Gerry Baker: Your concern then is your critique is actually that we’ve moved a little, but maybe appeasement is too strong, but we are still not really facing up to the threat that Putin represents. And this restraint that we are exercising, no to a no-fly zone, no to offensive weapons, very cautious response to anything that Putin may do, that’s still in a way represents just a kind of higher level of appeasement. Is that right?

Garry Kasparov: Look again. I don’t ask you to waste time in all the subtle definitions, offensive, defensive. I believe that Ukraine is fighting aggression. Every weapon for Ukraine is defensive because it fights for survival. Actually, it’s fighting for all of us.

Gerry Baker: I get that. My point is, I’m sure you still really think that despite all the warnings we’ve had for 20 years, or all the warnings you’ve written about and you’ve spoken about, despite the ultimate warning, that the existential warning of him actually crossing the border and invading Ukraine, you still don’t think we’re quite up to the challenge. We’re quite grasping the scale of the threat that he represents. Is that right?

Garry Kasparov: I’m not thinking, I’m just looking at the facts. Since the beginning of the war, European Union offered Ukraine and assistance for over a $1 billion, a €1 billion, actually. At the same time, Europe paid for Russian oil and gas €35 billion. Again, what should I think about it? “Oh, we can’t do it because the prices. Everything will go up.” Absolutely. But you have been doing it for 20 years. Now, the difference is you pay more for gas. All prices will go up, but Ukrainians are paying in black now. Europe is still funding Putin war machine because this money is being used to fund Putin war efforts in Ukraine. And again, going back to America, where is American leadership? It’s same old story, leading from behind. It also brings me back to Harry Truman, 1951, he said, “We can’t lead the voices of freedom from behind.” And that’s America now is trying to find it’s it. I think the administration is trying to muddle through without taking risks, without taking stand because America must come up with a strategy. And strategy, it’s not just Biden saying, “Oh, for God’s sake, this man cannot stay in power.” And then the statement being backtracked by administration, he keeps repeating it and then backtracking. It’s a vicious circle. I want to hear that the sanctions that are being imposed in Russia will not be lifted until Ukraine and territory is clear, Crimea included. And I think that the problem with, with this administration and of agents, I mentioned CIA and Pentagon and others, they are terrified by the fact that if Putin loses the Ukrainian War, it could lead to his demise and collapse of Russia. That’s the biggest concern. That’s why I don’t think they’re ready to work for Ukraine to win the war and for Putin to lose.

Gerry Baker: I want to ask you about that. We don’t have a lot of time left, but that’s the next question I wanted to ask you. Is there any vulnerability? Does Putin face any domestic vulnerability? I mean, everything we see from Russia opinions, no, you can’t count on opinion polls, but we know that Russians are getting a completely different picture of this war, both in terms of the justification for it. In fact, they can’t even describe it as a war, and the progress of it that Russian people are being told. It’s all going incredibly well. And the process of denazification of Ukraine and all of that is going brilliantly and the Russian’s are doing magnificently. So he doesn’t seem like this there’s much threat from domestic. I mean, the unrest, obviously they’re unhappy with the economic sanctions, some of the implications of them, but he doesn’t seem to be facing widespread broad public opinion hostility and Russia does not have a history of palace coups, right? I mean, people don’t generally move against the leader. Is he vulnerable at all?

Garry Kasparov: Oh, by the way, speaking about palace coups Russia had plenty of palace coups in the 18th century. Yes. Thinking about palace coups. And by the way, we still don’t know what’s happened to Joseph Stalin. There are many indications that some (inaudible) members led by Lavrentiy Beria, they actually decided to end Stalin’s life prematurely because Stalin was planning World War III. He definitely looked at the global map and he was unsatisfied with Russia and Soviet gains in Europe and the peace resolution in Korea in Asia. So again, it’s a speculation.

Gerry Baker: They did the later to push (Kristof) out too, so…

Garry Kasparov: Bingo. Russia history has many cases where the groups in power, they unsatisfied or scared by the policies of the leader, they conspired against him. So now with Putin, it’s different because it’s a dictatorship, a fascist dictatorship and he has all the power. I think he has even more power than Stalin because Stalin and (inaudible) and people like (inaudible). Putin is surrounded by his cronies and henchmen with no aspirations to take over. But even the worst covers can act out of their fear if they understand that the ship is going to sink and the precondition for any change in Russia, whether it’s the social-economic world on the streets with millions of people getting to the streets and protest protesting, or with Putin’s entourage deciding it’s time to act and to find scapegoat, which is always a dictator. It’s a military defeat in Ukraine. Until Russian troops are defeated in Ukraine, decisively, that you cannot hide this anymore, nothing will happen. And that’s why I think that state of free-world must supply you Ukraine with everything they need to win the war, unless it happens, there will be no revolt on the streets or what you call palace coup. And Putin needs to demonstrate that he gets something in Ukraine. That’s why now they, as you said, they are removed troop from Kiev. They fail to take it in three, four days. Then they had a few other attempts, they failed. And the troops in Kiev, in Northern Ukraine were open for the (inaudible) from the West. So they concentrated everything in the east and the south. And I think the plan now is to cut Ukraine from the sea. So to control territories from Luhansk to Odessa and Ukraine is fighting back. The outcome of this battle is still unknown, but every day that they do not receive a weapons, sophisticated weapons, increases Putin’s chances to claim more territories and then he has still hopes. He could go back to negotiating table because his diplomatic isolation is not complete. Recently, we had the Austrian prime minister visiting Moscow, and we still don’t know what happens if Putin decides to go to Indonesia to G20. Will Americans attend it? Will Brits attend it? So what about isolation? What about blockade? What about making clear to not just to Putin, but to his top bureaucrat, to his generals, to Russian public that Russia is completely isolated.

Gerry Baker: One question Garry, and this is a fascinating conversation, which we could talk longer. But as a Russian born, you were born in the Soviet Union, obviously, is there a, and forgive this because this is a Western cliche about Russia, but it does look as though this is a (inaudible)… all the… You’ve said about Vladimir Putin and his own personal ambitions and his own personal character, this pattern of Russia seeming to fall under authoritarian, autocratic rule, despite repeated attempts to democratize. You can go back to, I was in (inaudible) Alexander II trying to democratize, liberated the serfs and democratize and then he was assassinated, and it went back into autocracy. You had the 1905 and then the 1917 revolution. 1917 revolution was supposed to be a great liberation of the (inaudible). It turned out to be one of the most oppressive regimes ever. 1990 comes along. We get another revolution. The repressive authoritarian regime is overthrown again. And then within a decade, we’ve got Vladimir Putin and we now see what’s going on? Is this just inevitable? I mean, the Russian people just doomed to this kind of autocratic rule?

Garry Kasparov: I don’t think so. By the way, you mentioned 1917, there was a great democratic revolution in February 1917. What’s happened in October 1917 was the Bolsheviks stakeholder. Actually it was counter revolution that moved Russia away from its passed to democracy. Yes, 1991 was great moment and we celebrated the fall of the evil empire. And we had a chance. Again, it was a very feeble democracy in the ’90s and it didn’t withstand history test when (inaudible) took over. But I would not be so pessimistic because I look around, let’s look at Korea. If the country was divided 953. So the north, south now the north is the biggest Gulag in history, because the whole country is one Gulag and the South Korea is one of the most vibrant economists in the world and liberal democracy. They even impeach their president and put the head of the largest corporation behind bars for white collar crimes. So I don’t think anything is determinated by genetic (inaudible), but I think we are now reaching a point where the future of Russia will depend whether we can, as I said, already eradicate the virus of imperialism. Russia has to make this transition from imperial state, from an empire to a national state, that may be smaller in size there though I don’t think we’ll lose many territories, but we’ll go back to the family of civilized nations. I think there’s a strong push for that inside of Russia. And you can see millions of people now just living Russia, they don’t want to be part of Putin’s suppressive regime. And I believe that Russia will have a chance. At least we have to give Russia a chance because the future, you already mentioned China. The future of the free world will depend on our fight against Chinese imperialism, against Chinese communism and Russia must be our ally must be ally, the free world. And I think this is a very good chance and that’s why winning this war in Ukraine and making sure that Putin regime will collapse, that’s the best hope for the free world that the 21st century will not see another cold war with unpredictable result, but rather will lead us to another a new trend.

Gerry Baker: Can Russia can be an ally, you think in the end?

Garry Kasparov: It has to be an ally because again, my dream is, and I’m willing to contribute to this goal for Russia, stop being a permanent problem, but to become a part of the global solutions.

Gerry Baker: That’s a uplifting note on which to end. Surprisingly one. Thank you very much, indeed, Garry Kasparov. Thanks for joining us.

Garry Kasparov: Thank you for inviting me.

Gerry Baker: Well, that’s it for this week’s episode of Free Expression with me, Gerry Baker from the Wall Street Journal editorial pages. Thank you very much for listening and please do join us again next week for another deep exploration of the issues that are driving our world. Thanks for listening and goodbye.”



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