Kasparov on the TIME 100 List

One of the leaders of the Other Russia, Garry Kasparov, has been selected as one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influencial People” for 2007, published in the magazine this week. The profile segment on him reads in part:

[Kasparov’s] organization, the Other Russia, a coalition of those opposed to the rule of President Vladimir Putin, has held a series of demonstrations, often broken up by the police. For Kasparov, Russia today, dominated by a combination of huge energy enterprises and former security apparatchiks (such as Putin), is a betrayal of those who dreamed of democracy in the early 1990s.

Putin’s foes are fragmented and run from old-fashioned nationalists to modern liberals; Kasparov, 44, insists he is just a moderator, not a leader, of the movement. But by giving a voice to those who believe that Russia can develop in a way different from the authoritarianism that seems always to have been its fate, the retired grand master shows that he has not yet made his last move.

Kasparov gave us the following comments on the award, which put him on a list with a disparate list of people including sports starts, musicians, and politicians from around the world.

“I’m happy because this honor is for all the Russians who aren’t afraid to speak out against the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin. They are the ones who will be truly influential. I hope this helps send the message to Putin that even if the world’s political leaders are quiet, even if the world’s business leaders are taking profits in KGB Incorporated, the world is watching. And the world will not let Russia return to totalitarian rule.

“They can ban our organizations. They can slander us in the Kremlin-controlled media. They can beat us in the streets. They can detain and arrest us. But they will never convince us that democracy is not worth fighting for. People keep saying that Putin is popular, but this is a myth. If the White House had complete control of all the US media even Bush would have a 70% approval rating!”