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

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

Russia's financial monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring, has added former world chess champion Garry Kasparov to its list of "terrorists and extremists." The move imposes restrictions on client bank transactions, requiring approval for account access.

Kasparov, known for his exceptional chess career and subsequent activism against the Putin regime, responded with amusement, considering the designation an "honor that says more about Putin’s fascist regime than about me."

The ex-world champion took the opportunity to suggest an addition to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror, proposing Russia, Putin, and associates be included. 

Kasparov was born Garik Kimovich Weinstein in Baku, Azerbaijan (SSR), Soviet Union. His father, Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, was Jewish, and his mother, Klara Shagenovna Kasparova, was Armenian. Both of his mother's parents were Armenians from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Kasparov has described himself as a "self-appointed Christian," though "very indifferent," and identifies as Russian: "[A]lthough I'm half-Armenian, half-Jewish, I consider myself Russian because Russian is my native tongue, and I grew up with Russian culture." Kasparov and his family had to flee anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku in January 1990, coordinated by local leaders with Soviet acquiescence.

After retiring from chess in 2005, Kasparov emerged as a prominent critic of Putin, leading to his active involvement in the Russian opposition. Faced with increasing persecution, he left Russia in 2013, residing in exile in New York.

Kasparov's vocal stance against Putin's regime escalated in 2015 with the publication of his book, "Winter is Coming," warning against the threats posed by Putin and other "enemies of the free world." Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Kasparov co-founded the Anti-War Committee, advocating for the international community to label Russian leaders as "war criminals."

In May of the same year, Russia's justice ministry added Kasparov to a list of "foreign agents," a category monitoring Kremlin critics closely.

Despite Russia's latest move designating him a "terrorist," Kasparov remains determined in his opposition. Reflecting on his fearless approach in both chess and activism, he quipped, "That’s an honor that says more about Putin’s fascist regime than about me." 


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