Kasparov: There’d Be No Putin Regime if Sakharov Lived

Garry Kasparov. Source: Sobkor.ruIf noted Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov were still alive today, the Putin regime would not exist and the tragic events of October 1993 would never have occurred, says United Civil Front leader Garry Kasparov.

The opposition leader made the remarks at a conference on May 20 in Moscow, in honor of what would have been the dissident’s 90th birthday.

“Of course, many of Sakharov’s ideas were naive; for example, his constitution project that suggested Russia be divided into a multitude of confederations. And it’s unclear whether or not they were effective,” Kasparov said. “But the important thing is that he put human life and the idea of humanism higher than anything else.”

He also noted that it’s difficult to say whether Sakharov “won” or “lost,” although his ideas, in Kasparov’s opinion, have been fully discredited.

“People trusted Sakharov and his ideas because he was prepared to risk and give up everything to defend them. And now his values are used as propaganda, including by light-fingered and politically unscrupulous people,” Kasparov said.

The opposition leader concluded that “Sakharov’s legacy must be cleansed of the tumors that have arisen in the past twenty years.”

In addition to the conference, events being held in honor of Sakharov’s birthday include an exhibit, an open-air concert in support of freedom and calling for political prisoners to be freed (the “Sakharovskaya Mayovka,” held annually), and a public lecture by French physicist André Neveu.