We’ll talk with Russian political activist, and world chess champion Garry Kasparov about Russia, Ukraine and going after Vladimir Putin’s oligarchs.
President Obama and the new Ukrainian prime minister sit down today at the White House to think about how to keep Russia from gobbling up Ukraine’s Crimea and maybe more. How to stop Vladimir Putin. One famous Russian is thinking a lot about that challenge. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. Kasparov is also an outspoken political activist and opponent of Vladimir Putin. If you want to rein in Putin, he says, hurt Russia’s oligarchs. They’ll dump him. This hour On Point: Garry Kasparov on the Russia challenge right now.
— Tom Ashbrook
Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs and chair of the international security program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Author of ‘Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy.” (@StephenWalt)
From Tom’s Reading List
The Wall Street Journal: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They’ll Dump Putin — “As I have said for years, it is a waste of time to attempt to discern deep strategy in Mr. Putin’s actions. There are no complex national interests in a dictator’s calculations. There are only personal interests, the interests of those close to him who keep him in power, and how best to consolidate that power. Without real elections or a free media, the only way a dictator can communicate with his subjects is through propaganda, and the only way he can validate his power is with regular shows of force.”
The Daily Beast: Putin’s Sochi and Hitler’s Berlin — “Do not mistake the epic graft in Sochi as unusual or incidental. Corruption is the overriding principle of Putin’s 14 years in power and looting the Russian treasury and the Russian people is itself the goal. For all the foolish attempts to interpret Putin’s geopolitical strategy and personal ideology, the common denominator is always whether or not an action helps him maintain the cash flow that in turn enables him and his clique to stay in power.”
The New Republic: “The World Needs Russia. Russia Does Not Need Putin.” — “Putin has succeeded in manipulating the awareness of many Russians who’ve come to believe that Kiev is ruled by Bandera’s followers who persecute the Russian population, that Western democracies are a mortal danger to Russia, and that Poland and Lithuania train Ukrainian fascists. But there are many Russians who have not succumbed to these deceitful myths.”