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Chess Grandmaster Kasparov Added to Russia's ‘Terrorists and Extremists’ List

Russian chess master Garry Kasparov. Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

Russia has added former chess champion and exiled Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov to its state list of “terrorists and extremists.”

While state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring did not specify the reason for Kasparov being added to the list, he has been a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin for years and has condemned Moscow’s military aggression in Ukraine since 2014.

Kasparov, who retired from playing chess in 2005 to devote his time to politics and activism, once called Putin “the world’s most dangerous man.”

He called Rosfinmonitoring's designation an “honor that says more about Putin's fascist regime than about me.”

“As Goldwater said, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! But all opposition, or simple decency, must be called an extremist by the dictatorship,” Kasparov wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Being added to Russia's lists of “extremists and terrorists” allows the authorities to freeze designees’ bank accounts without a court order.

Fearing prosecution for his political activities, Kasparov left Russia for the United States in 2013. He now lives in New York City. 

Russian authorities designated Kasparov as a “foreign agent” in May 2022 over alleged financing that he received from Ukraine. 

Since Moscow's full-scale invasion of its neighbor, the former chess star has played an active role in Russia's exiled anti-war movement, including helping create the Anti-War Committee of Russia.

In 2008, Kasparov tried to run in Russia’s presidential race but withdrew after facing what he called “obstruction.”

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