The better quality of life is not represented by media.
Sup Nostril,"I object to being called a chess genius, because I consider myself to be an all around genius, who just happens to play chess, which is rather different. A piece of garbage like Kasparov might be called a chess genius, but he is like an idiot savant, outside of chess he knows nothing." -- Bobby FischerKasparov isn't really in that much trouble. Putin is a rather benign elected-dictator, he doesn't really eliminate people like the KGB did in the good old days. The worst we know about is what happened to Viktor Yushchenko by the Ukranian equivalent of the FSB/KGB in last year's election (see: http://www.loiclemeur.com/france/images/Capture029-1-tm.jpg). This backfired horribly, as Yushchenko's more liberal/western oriented party was swept into power in all areas except for eastern Ukriane. Interestingly enough, the eastern part of the country actually threatened to secede, but nothing has really come of this threat. The east is mostly populated with people who may reminesce more about the days of Soviet power, since they lost alot in the collapse of the Union. This is reflected in their sentmentality for the days of old, and subsequently their support of old-style "strong-men" leaders who also appeal to the good old days.The issue of democracy in Russia is rather complicated. Putin is an autocrat, but that's what most Russian's want. Kasparov is a Westernized Russian, he, like his compatriots in the Orange revolution in Ukraine would love to see him go, but you must remember that that is not what the majority of Russian's want. There was a great article about Putin in the March 2005 issue of Atlantic Monthly, I encourage you to read it. Here's the link: (The Accidental Autocrat: (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200503/starobin)As far as Kasparov's safety is concerned, I don't see him being "elimnated" like prior dissidents would have been. This would not really help Putin, because it would be obvious where the hit came from. However Kasparov has been harrased on two notable occasions. It is speculated that the first incident was instigated by a member of Putin's youth movement (not really Hitler Youth, more like Boy Scouts with an Ultra-nationalist edge) They are known as Nashi. From Chessbase.com: "Kasparov’s supporters are blaming the incident on pro-Kremlin youths from the Nashi (Ours) movement."The first attack on him was by a young man who asked Kasparov to autograph his chess board, he then smashed it over his head. The second incident took place recently where Kasparov was egged while speaking to an organization of Mother's of the Beslan terrorist attack victims. Here are the two article's:1) http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2344 (with pictures)2) http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2486BTW, stay tuned, I have some more great Chess babes coming down the pipeline.--Eric
Thanks for a great and thorough response.
i hear most of the opposition doesn't take kasparov seriously since he formed and left a political party once in the early 90s, proving that he is but 'a piece of garbage'.not that you can trust yabloko these days. eric, any thoughts?
Marina, my source from Moscow, says that it's not as if Kasparov is ignored, or not taken seriously, Russians just don't see him as a very important politcal opposition figure. It's more likely that Kasparov is on a personal crusade which, is being met with a collective sigh by these Slavic people. Such has been their response to life for centuries. If life is bad, thus it is so, to live is to endure. Kasparov is, however, still greatly admired for his dominance in chess, both internationally, as well as at home in Russia (He's actually Azerbaijani). Yabloko is a liberal politcal party, but does not pose any real threat to Putin's power. From what I understand, they are supported almost entirely by Yukos, or what's left of it. At this point Russian's want stability, although Putin has dismantled his opposition and smothered most, if not all, independent media, his hold on power is secured because most Russians, excluding EUphiles like Kasparov, do not want to experience any more political upheaval.To get a taste of what more ordinary Russian's think check out this excellent new book by former Librarian of Congress James Billington: Russia in Search of Itself ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0801879760/qid=1120774161/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-9930876-9185718?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 ).The cliche is that Russia is an enigma, implying that outsiders can never really understand what makes the nation tick. In reality, Russia is an enigma to itself, no country has ever been less secure and comfortable with it's own identity. If you have not seen Russian Ark by Aleksandr Sokurov, you really must. It's a beautiful, uninterrupted history and dramatization of 500 years of Russian cultural heritage, and a frank discussion of it's national identity, artistic, political and so on. ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00009NHAT/qid=1120774396/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-9930876-9185718?v=glance&s=dvd&n=507846 ).I look forward to answering more of your queries Rod and Nos,Sincerely yours,Eric
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