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Friday, July 19, 2024

Russia threatens former chess champion Kasparov with criminal charges

Russian law enforcement officials, the state news agency reported, said there is “every reason” to charge Kasparov, without providing further details. The fierce Kremlin critic could face up to two years in prison or a fine if a case is initiated, the unnamed officials said.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who fled Russia a decade ago for fear of persecution, may face a criminal case in Moscow for violating the Kremlin’s “foreign agent” law, TASS news agency reported on Sunday.

Russian law enforcement officials, the state news agency reported, said there is “every reason” to charge Kasparov, without providing further details. The fierce Kremlin critic could face up to two years in prison or a fine if a case is initiated, the unnamed officials said.

Russia added Kasparov to the list of individuals acting as foreign agents, which includes dozens of critics of Vladimir Putin, soon after the Russian president launched his full-scale invasion on Ukraine in 2022.

Kasparov’s media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the law, a foreign agent is a person who receives support from foreign states or is under foreign influence and is engaged in political activities in Russia.

The foreign agent law, broadly condemned by the European Union and Washington, requires anyone identified as having foreign support or influence to register with the justice ministry and declare themselves foreign agents.

The law also subjects those registered to onerous bureaucracy and disclosures.

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