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Garry Kasparov: Putin Sends Clear Message

Garry Kasparov: Putin Sends Clear Message

Ukraine is not the last stop.

The Free Russia Forum held an international conference "Anti-Putin coalition. Conditions for victory and liquidation of the Putin regime". Conditions for victory and liquidation of the Putin regime". The conference was held on May 14.

On the sidelines of the event, the correspondent of the Charter97.org website spoke with one of the leaders of the Russian opposition, co-founder of the Free Russia Forum Garry Kasparov.

— What did the replacement of the Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu with "civilian" Andrei Belousov mean?

— This is a fairly unambiguous move. In the direction of increasing efficiency. Who is Shoigu? Putin's "taiga friend". Obviously, he's nothing. Instead of him they put in a fairly capable economist and experienced official. I compared him on my Twitter with Albert Speer [Hitler's personal architect, Reich Minister of Armaments in Nazi Germany — Ed.]. This is a person whose task is to use resources as efficiently as possible. Belousov marks the continuation of the war of attrition.

Some of the generals will be arrested, they will try to curb corruption a little. Of course, corruption cannot be completely eradicated, because weapons need to be purchased from Chemezov, and he is Putin's friend, fuel — from Sechin, products — from Patrushev's son, who was Minister of Agriculture, and now Deputy Prime Minister. It is clear that corruption will not go away. But given the fact that about 40% of Russia's budget goes to war, Belousov will make everything more organized, will begin to "pinch" the oligarchs, the business.

I think this is a clear signal that Putin will continue the war, and Ukraine is not the last stop. We see the final transfer of the entire Russian economy on a war footing. The war became both the ideological and economic foundation of Putin's regime.

— Is the promotion of Putin's security guard, Governor of the Tula Region Dyumin to an assistant the same signal?

— I think this is an intermediate post for him. For permutations it was necessary to do certain actions. For example, to remove the head of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in order to assign Shoigu. It is clear that Shoigu resets the Security Council. What is the Security Council under Patrushev? The KGB general controlled the special services. Shoigu can't control anything. Therefore, Shoigu is held so as not to be "strike off charge".

Dyumin, as I understand it, is a "rising star", a "hawk". Dyumin approaches Putin. It is important that he was a security guard, Putin trusts him. He has great prospects under this regime.

The position of presidential assistant is small, but in dictatorial regimes, something else is important...

— Proximity "to the body"?

— To the ear!

— To what extent does the Russian economy have a margin of safety today?

— I'm not an economist to judge. I believe that the stock is not as large as some people think. But it will last for several years. First, the West did not undermine the financial base of the regime, did not deal with oil. Moreover, all sanctions packages leave holes. It is strange, as they say, to conduct this sanctions war, but at the same time to assert that "we are not at war with Putin" and "our goal is to avoid escalation." It turns out to be completely absurd.

Okay, you're imposing sanctions. German goods do not go directly, but through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Even those countries that unconditionally support Ukraine — Finland, Estonia, Poland — continue to do business. No one forbids it. The West still does not want to admit that it is at war. Putin is at war with the West, he is at war with the free world, he wants to remake it in his own image and likeness.

— Is president Macron's proposals to send French troops to Ukraine a signal that the West recognizes that it is at war?

— Yes, Macron talks. But what is he doing? As far as I remember, Macron sent his ambassador to Putin's “inauguration.” It should be understood that Macron, like any Western leader, pursues a policy of bargaining. At some point, I also had the illusion: "Finally!" But Macron is not De Gaulle, not so influential. After all, the ideal political situation was for a politician of De Gaulle's size, just a moment of truth. All that had to be done was to give 50 planes with French pilots. And you're the leader of the free world. What is he doing instead? Loud statements.

By the way, the amount of assistance from France is minimal, it is almost on the 15th place, if we consider GDP. Instead, Macron starts bargaining. What's his deal? Olympic games. The truce, these ancient Greek norms, nobility. And there are more practical things. The French lost everything in Africa, Niger is actually under Russian control. But Niger is the main supplier of uranium, and France has the entire economy at nuclear power plants. That's it. I think it was a bargain. We are dealing with traders who are not even able to think about taking on historical responsibility.

— When will the West wake up?

— Only those who can wake up can wake up. Biden can't wake up for physiological reasons, he can't do anything. To do this, you need a shock that will convince people that this is a disaster.

The level of support for Ukraine in Western society is quite high, there is an understanding of the threat in Eastern Europe, but if we move west of Poland, we have no idea that we are playing with disaster. Putin may win the war. However, this idea still boggles people's minds.

It must be remembered that any victory of the dictator is a time to digest the loot, the conquered, and then move on. A well-known fact: every second Wehrmacht tank that crossed the Polish border in 1939 was made in Czechoslovakia. Like a significant part of those mobilized into the Russian army in the first wave were from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Putin will conduct mobilization better than the Verkhovna Rada, there is no doubt about it.

Putin will not stop, there is no doubt about it, because without war he will lose historical legitimacy. He can only be stopped.

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