Former world chess champion and leading opponent of Vladimir Putin’s regime in Moscow Gary Kasparov has described the Russian strongman as “an existential threat” to Western democracies, and said the US and Europe has failed to create an effective strategy against him.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, he also warned the Israeli government against expecting any reciprocal gestures from Putin for selling arms to Moscow or refraining from doing so to Russia’s enemies.
Kasparov implied that the Jewish state should cease the sale of drones and other weapons to the Russian regime.
He also said that US weakness in the face of Russia’s foreign policy adventures has created greater security for Putin as Russian leader.
“It’s time to recognize that Putin is an existential threat to the free world and then to start building a strategy,” Kasparov told the Post on Monday. He is currently visiting Israel to promote improving educational standards through teaching chess in school.
“In chess you need to decide your strategy before you move. If you don’t, its a recipe for disaster.
By annexing Crimea, Putin wiped off the pieces from the board. You can pretend you’re still playing chess, and thats what the West did… We don’t have politicians in the free world who can think in the long term, so they’re all playing a short-term game which gives a competitive advantage to Putin.”
Kasparov says that the US and EU should have armed Ukraine when Russian troops entered the eastern Donbass region of the country, and says that such a strategy is still possible.
He said that when the US and European nations denied Ukraine even a small amount of lethal arms, it sent a message to Putin that there would be no serious consequences to his actions.