Gary Kasparov Fears Return to Russia

June 6, 2013
Gary Kasparov. Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Gary Kasparov, leader of the United Civic Front, has decided to refrain from trips to Russia. At a press conference in Geneva, the chess grand-master announced that he is afraid of criminal prosecution in his homeland in connection with the investigation of cases against the opposition.

“I went there back and forth right up until the end of February, when it became clear that the continuing investigation of the activity of political activists could affect me as well,” Garry Kasparov announced. “Now I seriously doubt that if I return to Moscow, that I will manage to go back.  So for some time I will refrain from returning to Russia.”

Kasparov himself claimed back in April that rumors of his emigration were greatly exaggerated.

At that time it became known that Kasparov was quitting the leadership of the Solidarity opposition movement. “This is Gary Kimovich’s own decision. He called me and Boris Nemtsov [a member of the political council—ed.] and informed us that he no longer planned to be one of the leaders of Solidarity. But I will note right away that Kasparov does not intend to leave the organization itself,” Aleksandr Ryklin, also member of the political council, told Interfax. He found it hard to explain what prompted Kasparov’s decision. “In principle, he leads an active civic life, you could say, all over the world, therefore it is hard to combine it all,” he surmised.