March 01, 2014 9:47

Kasparov Granted Croatian Citizenship

This week Garry Kasparov was granted citizenship by the Republic of Croatia. The former world champion turned human rights activist is running for FIDE President, and wrote on his website that he did not want to “depend on Putin's Foreign Ministry” anymore while campaigning. The news was posted on the Russian version of Kasparov's personal website, and also reported by The Guardian.

“The bodies of the Republic of Croatia handed me a passport of their state. I am grateful to the government of Croatia for their invaluable help in such an important and crucial moment for me: the campaign for the FIDE presidency entered its active phase, during which I will visit yet some thirty countries - in these circumstances, it would be prohibitively expensive to depend on Putin's Foreign Ministry. I should be able at any time to cancel my Russian passport,”

wrote Kasparov (50) on his website on Friday. Even though he is not travelling to his home country for the time being, he is not intending to renounce his Russian citizenship. With his Croatian passport Kasparov expects to be able to travel more freely.

Although he prefers to be called human rights activist, Kasparov has played an active role in the opposition to Putin's government. He was among several protesters who were arrested in August 2012, while standing outside the court in Moscow where members of the protest band Pussy Riot were being sentenced. In November 2007 he spent five days in jail for protesting on behalf of The Other Russia, an umbrella coalition that gathered opponents of Putin.

Kasparov has had strong ties with Croatia for a long time. In 1992, during the Yugoslav war, he participated in the creation of a refugee fund of the city of Vukovar. A year later he was made an honorary citizen of the city, and two years later he was awarded the state award of Croatia. 

Besides, Kasparov has a summer residence in the southern Croatian town of Makarska and he speaks the language. In January he met with the Croatian president, Ivo Josipović, who praised him for providing “great moral support to Croatia” during the country's war of independence.

According to The Guardian, earlier Kasparov had applied for Latvian citizenship, but the Latvian government announced in November it would not grant him citizenship owing to "procedural issues".

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


>:)'s picture

Top level Chess isn't the same since king K retired...

Zozon's picture

And that is exactly one of the reasons I do not like Kasparov as a person...

Anonymous's picture

I hope Gary stays away from Russia, it is too dangerous for him. Putin has a short temper these days.

Vitecasse's picture

Kasparov is no threat for Putin at all. I thought I saw Kasparov riding with Putin's bikers, his hairy chest exposed....and a tattoo of Carlsen on it!

Mart Smeets's picture

You should do something with this kind of humour. Be a comedian of some kind.

RG13's picture

No one thought that P_Riot was a threat either but that did not keep them from going to prison. Also remember that Russian guy that pretended to be a chess fan and approached Kasparov with a heavy wooden chess board ... Kasparov thought he wanted to sign it and then he smashed Kasparov in the head with it - while delivering a warning. So it is dangerous for him in Russia regardless of who it is that wants to hurt him.

Anonymous's picture

"it is dangerous for him in Russia"

It is dangerous in Russia for everyone that doesn't support Putin, and things will only get worse in that respect, so good for Kasparov that he got out in time.

Kenroy's picture

hahahaha that's funny

KingTal's picture

Human rights activist Kasparov, good joke, haha.

Seamus O Shitey's picture

Kasparov is a decent man.

KingTal's picture

Putin is a decent man, too, as is Obama and Ilyumzhinov. Your earth is flat...

Anonymous's picture

With fascism on the rise in Russia with one party state and dictatorship it is good that some have the guts to protest.

KingTal's picture

Russia has a lot of different parties, which can compete, especially the communists, use google. It just happens, that the one Kasparov supports is not among the parties, which the Russian people support.

Anonymous's picture

There are four parties in the duma, the one with huge majority is the Putin party and the three others are just for show. There is no real opposition and no real critical media allowed, any protest is beaten up by police, citizens are brainwashed by Putin praising media, the few critical journalists have been murdered and Putin reacts like when Politkovskaya was killed ("she was totally insignificant"). It's happy days for the fascists and sad days for critical thinking.

KingTal's picture

There is a real opposition, the communists, other two parties can maybe get around 10% and the rest has no weightful support whatsoever, including the "democratic" parties.

As for protests, they get beaten up everywhere, if the protesters, or to be more exact some part of provocateurs among them overstep the bounds.

Also the media part is not true, there is a lot of critical media in Russia, if you don´t watch main stream. And your Putin reaction part is also wrong, where do you read such crap?

Anonymous's picture

"After her murder, Mr Putin ... described as "extremely insignificant" her ability to influence political life in Russia."

KingTal's picture

I searched what Putin actual said and he described her political influence as insignificant in the inner country and also said she was more popular among the Western mass media. That´s why her death brought more damage to the reigning government than her actual publications.

So what you said that he said she was totally insignificant is wrong and an out of context exaggeration. He was talking about the political influence of her publications and the consequences for the government, not about her as a person.

Anonymous's picture

He made it very clear that he had little respect for her, not even after she was murdered.

KingTal's picture

He made very clear that her death brought damage to the government, even more than her publications. There was no talk about her as person, you see ghosts dude.

RS's picture

So now Kasparov is a Russian exile a US refugee and a Croatian citizen all at the same time. This is convenient for carrying out his shaky political career and anti Putin stance from eastern europe and run away to US when Putin breathes fire.

Anonymous's picture

I don't think Putin would invade Croatia just because Kasparov would be critical of his regime, otherwise it's easy to understand that it's practical to have double citizenship and not have to be subjected to Russian Foreign Ministry for travelling rights. What US has to do with that I don't know.

Thomas Richter's picture

To add confusion, the German tabloid Bild-Zeitung recently wrote that Kasparov is living in Switzerland.

But this might have been a misunderstanding from a Kasparov interview (published in the Guardian) where he said "most gold from the Olympic Winter Games will go to Switzerland, but on secret bank accounts". At least at the press conference in Wijk aan Zee, Kasparov said he's living in New York.

RS's picture

He got asylum in US a few months back. His family is most likely there as it is safest and his is expecting. Not a good time to be easily accessible to the Putin controlled Russian mafia

RS's picture

I mean his wife is expecting. So best to stay away from the Russian mafia

Anonymous's picture

Former boxer Klitschko who wants to become president of Ukraine is a close friend of Vladimir Kramnik. Speaking of ex-Champs and politics I wonder what the latter thinks about what happens in Ukraine at the moment.

AAR's picture

Islamic terrorism on the rise in Russia, what is Putin doing about it.

Anonymous's picture

Putin has given Russians something to take their mind off of Islamic terrorists - war with Ukraine! I hope Ivanchuk will be o.k.

Anonymous's picture

The thing is to use Islamic terrorists or now the so called Ukrainian fascists as a means to promote more authoritarian rule. In this way invading a foreign country can be quite popular at home, just like it was for the Americans in many cases. Doesn't make it any more right when the Russians do it though, and now it is just a question of in which country Russians must be "protected" next time. Latvia? Estonia? Who knows?

Ihab's picture

I am scared of the fact that the political atmosphere is very similar to the one just before second world war when Hiltler started invading neighbours - even the syrian war is very similar to the spanish civil war during that time

Anonymous's picture

Yes, Putin said today that Russia has the right to intervene in other countries if Russian interests are threatened in them. This paves the way for fitting things happening in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltic states etc. This is just the same as with the Sudeten Germans in the 1930s, a minority group is used to get an excuse to invade. Agreements to respect the sovereignty of other states are of no value.

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