Reports | August 22, 2012 10:59

Kasparov: "I would never bite anyone under the rank of general!"

Garry Kasparov on Facebook

A new update on the Kasparov arrest saga includes descriptions of his meeting with the Moscow police and the Investigative Committee of Russia. Kasparov also wrote a new op-ed, now for The Moscow Times.

Garry Kasparov on Facebook

There have been some new developments since the last time we wrote about Kasparov's arrest last Friday outside the Pussy Riot trial. As we noted last Sunday, Kasparov could theoretically be sentenced a five year jail term for using violence against a state official, after allegedly biting a policeman's hand.

On Monday Kasparov went to the Moscow police, which he was summoned to do after Friday's scrimmage. Here's how the meeting was described at Kasparov's Facebook page:

My interview with police today was uneventful. I submitted my testimony and video evidence to the captain. I read the report by the lieutenant Ratnikov asserting that I bit him on the hand and plans to file an assault charge. The good news is that there is video and photos from a dozen angles showing no such thing, only showing him striking me in the head as his colleagues held me. The officer's hands appear in perfect condition before, during, and after the assault. The bad news is that evidence is not the deciding factor in Moscow courts in Putin's Russia. But I am optimistic, what else? I will now file suit against the police for my illegal arrest and beating, and against Lieutenant Ratnikov for libeling me with his absurd allegation. Such a waste of time and energy. There will be more details in my article in The Moscow Times tomorrow (Tuesday).

To make sure not a single detail would be missed, Kasparov's friend and personal assistant Mig Greengard
created a frame-by-frame export of the video that showed the struggle at the police van

On Tuesday Kasparov's op-ed was published in the The Moscow Times. Titled "Putinism Is the Only Religion That Matters", the former World Champion starts by arguing that in today's Russia obeying the law comes down to obeying Vladimir Putin. While he describes his arrest in detail, for the first time Kasparov mentions that he actually attempted to exit the police bus.

It was not in my mind to escape through a deep phalanx of police. I had been seized illegally and merely wanted to learn the charge against me.

Apparently Kasparov was under the impression that, after they had lifted, carried away and thrown him into the bus, the police officers were still ready to have a conversation about the matter. But as we know, instead he was tackled, beaten and dragged back into the bus, where according to Kasparov the physical abuse continued.

Here's Kasparov's reaction to the criminal charges he might be facing for allegedly biting a police officer (who happened to be certain lieutenant Ratnikov):

I am by no means a vegetarian, though as I am turning 50 next year I have had to cut back on red meat on my doctor's advice. I can say with certainty that were I to acquire a taste for human flesh, the way Bengal tigers are said to do, I would never bite anyone under the rank of general.

A day later Kasparov also went to the Investigative Committee of Russia (similar to the FBI) to submit his complaints about "illegal arrest, assault and libel". Here's the last update on his Facebook page:

Guess who else was there? Lieutenant Ratnikov, also giving his testimony! Unfortunately I did not have the chance to give him a strong handshake, but his hands looked fine to me... A full updating coming here tonight, with more photos and videos coming out. I am fighting bites with bytes!

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anonymous's picture

This shorter clip is more too the point:

Fischer, who was 'only' stripped and beaten by police in California - got off easy!

KingTal's picture

Why doesn´t Kasparov, an American citizen, protest in the USA for human rights against the authoritarian regime there, if he is obsessed with human rights.

Anthony Migchels's picture

proving the same fascists rule in the west.

On the other hand: DJK had some powerful enemies of his own. That was a pretty blatant setup, although it was easy to set him up: it seems his dik ruled his brain

giovlinn's picture
mishanp's picture

"He may very well have been biting when he was making those strange repetitive sounds "ai yai yai yai yai ... etc." If not, can someone provide a more reasonable explanation of those sounds by Mr. Kasparov?"

Since when would making noises be consistent with biting!? In any case, those sounds are the equivalent of "ow"/"ouch" in Russian - i.e. they indicate someone in pain.

I actually agree with you that the videos/freeze frames aren't conclusive, but now photos have come out showing the guy had a cut to his hand before the incident with Kasparov. So whether he cynically put the blame on Kasparov or genuinely thought Kasparov was to blame I'm now convinced there wasn't any bite - it would be an odd coincidence for Kasparov just to have happened to bite the one policeman who already had a wound to his hand...

valg321's picture

"He may very well have been biting when he was making those strange repetitive sounds "ai yai yai yai yai ... etc." If not, can someone provide a more reasonable explanation of those sounds by Mr. Kasparov?"

since when does someone *has* to explain the sounds he's making? I'm sure if you're ever detained violently by a group of cops for talking in the street, you won't utter a sound. Even if you know there's beating coming next... Some pretty ignorant comments in this thread. I can only attribute it to youth and inexperience. At least i hope that's the reason

What's Next?'s picture

So many hard words about Garry Kasparov in the comments. It looks like the motto is: Write First, Think Later.

Anthony Migchels's picture

Perhaps screaming 'democracy' no longer has that moral imperative it used to have? Perhaps 'democracy' is just killing too many people around the globe?

Perhaps people actually mean what they say when deriding Garry, who is well known to be decent player, but a lousy politician?

S3's picture

Anthony, perhaps you should move out of your democratic Western country and stop buying Western products. Perhaps you should even stop visiting this Western site with Western advertisements and perhaps you should stop helping sustain the evil democratic governments who kill babies around the globe. You wouldn' t want to collaborate with them, would you?

Anthony Migchels's picture

Oh I can assure you I do my utmost to enable them as little as possible.
Boycotting Transnationals and keeping my bank account empty, paying as much as possible cash, ignoring 'elections' where you can chose between all sorts of lackeys of power.

Have I said 'Take your money out of the bank NOW' recently?

Anonymous's picture

So what should a retired couple who want to travel the world do, keep their live savings in a mattress?

Anthony Migchels's picture

Well, I would most certainly not keep it all in one bank, because we're going to see a new credit crunch shortly, is my hunch. And this time they have the depositors pay up. Highway robbery of course, but better than coming to me for a bailout, which is what happened last time, and I don't own a dime.

Also I'd some metal, silver seems best, about 20% of your savings is enough to guard against full meltdown, which is a real threat.

But to answer the question: yes, a mattress is better than a bank. Both safer and more moral. Banks are the vultures of the world and we should boycott them all.

the champ's picture

Pussy Riot and Garry Kasparov are taking real risks by speaking out about
the terrible political situation in Russia. Bravo!

All the Putin fans on this page should be ashamed of being lackeys to a modern dictator.

Anonymous's picture


Merlinovich's picture

They added -nikov to his name to hide his real name!

Mig Greengard's picture

Wow, the stooges are really putting in overtime if they're posting here. Sometimes I wonder how many thousands of wasted hours they spend going around posting the same lies like "Kasparov is an American citizen" on message boards. (He's not, never has been.) Or are there actually real people still stupid enough to believe Channel One propaganda?

I'm sure many have axes to grind with Garry about his time in the chess world. But the idea that he goes around getting arrested and beaten just for laughs, as if he needs this to get attention, is bizarre. He has dozens of speaking engagements on politics and business, constant invitations to conferences, occasional chess appearances, his chess and non-chess books, and the Kasparov Chess Foundation is now in three continents and expanding rapidly. Oh, and a wife and five-year-old daughter plus a teenage son. (He'd like to see them grow up and you can't do that from jail.) He's busy enough, thanks.

If Garry didn't genuinely care about issues of freedom and human rights in Russia he wouldn't be there and he could lead a perfectly busy, complicated, satisfying life just about anywhere. He's been agitating on this stuff for over 20 years, not even counting his outspoken comments in the USSR days. He'd be more famous and wealthier if he stuck to chess, or to writing and speaking, no doubt. The United Civil Front, his group in Russia, provides legal defense and aid to the families of people persecuted by Putin's government, along with the more visible protest actions. Almost all of those funds are generated by Garry personally, an activity that is nearly impossible inside Russia for obvious reasons.

As for the "Garry deserved it" comments, just wow. I hope you one day get to live in the police state you deserve. It's not because he was a chess champion that he doesn't deserve to be seized and then beaten by police, but because he's a human being. This sort of thing happens to Russian activists and journalists all the time, but most aren't famous and many can't even afford lawyers, let alone a global media offensive. (And even that didn't help Pussy Riot.) We found out Sergey Brin is a fan, which is cool! Btw, photos have now come out showing that the little cut on Ratnikov's hand was there BEFORE he participated in beating Garry. So, yeah.

I'm certainly not going to say everyone has to support Kasparov, or even like him. But please don't be in such a hurry to spread ignorance. Putin's Russia is listed as "not free" for government, "mostly unfree" for economy, "difficult situation" for press, and "authoritarian regime" by the Democracy Index. This alliance with the Orthodox Church is just the icing on a scary cake. They do have lots of oil and gas (and nukes, yay!), which gives them plenty of ways to buy influence at home and abroad.

Comparing all that to the admittedly awful treatment of some Occupy protesters, or the US witch hunt against Assange, is pretty weak and smacks of deflection. It's isolated cases (while troubling) vs a massive entrenched police state. (Personally I think the income inequality is a more interesting debate in the West, especially the US.)

Anyway, I do realize most of the negative comments are coming from people who aren't interested in actually discussing these issues. But I thought I'd at least try to air some of the basics. Thanks to those showing support for whatever reason at all, either for Garry's chess past or his political present. Or just because you think people should be allowed to say what they think, chess champ or not.

Saludos, Mig

Aide to Garry Kasparov
Semi-retired chess bloviator
Menhir placement consultant

Anthony Migchels's picture

Nice, Kasparov himself takes note and has his man Mig comes out defending him.

Uh Mig, 'democracy index'? By the Economist intelligence unit????

WTF??? You do realize the economist is the most blatant Rothschild Mouthpiece around? Surely you know Khodorovksky's holdings are tended by rothschild while he's in jail?

Are you sure you want to cite such sources?

How about the fact that there are more people in jail in the US than China and Russia combined? How does that compute on the 'economist intelligence unit's 'democracy index''?

do you really believe 9/11 is 'terrorist act'? You probably do, don't you? Meaning you actually believe we are fighting for freedumb in the ME, making it alright to kill millions and millions while dumping so much DU ammunitions there that the women don't ask: is it a boy? they ask: is it normal? the birthdefects are so horrible and common place.

Where is Russia doing that?

these same people attacked Russian in 2008 via Georgia. Kasparov defended that naked aggression also.

Worse still: Putin is actually in the globalist camp and soon we will be fighting WW3 against them, because this is all just a prelude to wholesale slaughter.

thanks, to no small part, to your boss, whom I love as a player, and absolutely despise for his phoney heroism parading as a guy promoting 'democracy'.

Rodzjer's picture

What's -your- problem?

Anonymous's picture

as the ol saying goes

Don't bite the hand that beats you

Iranian's picture

I dont know Russians love putin or not,I dont care either.The only thing that is obvious for me is that Putin supports my country 's (Iranian)dictators.In Iran media is saying all day that US and other countries have too many problems but they say nothing about Russia and Syria,their supporters!
So I support Garry and everyone who fights against Putin.

Sergio Henrique Riedel's picture


Sergio Henrique Riedel's picture

Kasparov revolutionized the way of play chess, and now is trying to improve things in his own country!


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