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Garry the lecturer and Putin the challenge

2011-02-17 17:25

He tried to dispel wrong belief of Georgians that Russia and its leader are guided by imperialist motives. According to Kasparov, Putin is not an imperialist: after all he did not invade Georgia in August 2008. He could, couldn't he?

Together with lectures Kasparov answered questions of students both in English and in Russian. Judging by the agitation at the university and Europe House, the chess player is highly popular in Georgia. Immediately after the war in 2008 he stated that Russia will have more problems recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In his speeches Kasparov never condemns Mikheil Saakashvili who launched the first artillery strike on Tskhinval and positions of the Russian peacekeepers. 

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His silence was awarded. Last year he came as a guest at the jubilee of Zurab Azmaiparashvili, also a chess player, and was invited to a meeting with Georgian president and speaker. Saakashvili thanked the oppositionist for bravery: "I want to express my admiration for your courage and civil heroism". However, as Russian expert Boris Kagarlitski, director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, remarked in his interview with GeorgiaTimes, there is no courage in this visit. "Acts of this character look heroic but only from his point of view. Since he will not be punished for these actions. This is relative heroism, vivid neglect for public opinion without any risk at all".

Indeed, after last year's trip Kasparov's life has not changed: he keeps being paid for organizing illegitimate protests and he is still given the floor on Gazprom-owned Ekho Moskvy radio. 

This year Kasparov had no doubts about coming to Georgia when he got an invitation. Answering the question of journalists if he was afraid of the Kremlin's negative reaction he replied with dignity: "I don't care what Kremlin will think. I love your country very much, I have many friends here and because of Russia's vicious policy I won't stop coming to Georgia. If Kremlin minds my visiting Georgia, this is their problem, not mine".

But official Moscow has no claims against Garry Kimovich as long as he does not disturb public order: he is not an official, or a diplomat, or a deputy. So he is free to do whatever he wants to in Georgia.

Kasparov also plans to meet with members of the local Chess Federation during his five-day stay.

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