Garry Kasparov Kicked Off His Sochi Campaign With A Blistering Twitter Tirade Against Vladimir Putin

Picture: Getty Images

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has devoted much of life after chess to criticising the politics and personal life of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He’s been instrumental in setting up alternative democractic opposition parties – even standing for presidency in 2007 – and making headlines in high-profile protests involving the likes of Pussy Riot and Kanye West.

Not everyone’s in his home country agrees with Kasparov. This bizarre set of photos shows one former fan of his chess game assaulting him with a chess board.

His increasing outspokenness has plenty believing Kasparov is a leading candidate to “disappear” like the odd objector before him.

But the Winter Olympics in Sochi is his biggest stage yet, with an estimated audience of 3 billion expected to tune in over the next two weeks and Kasparov’s not wasting his chance. He’s already claimed for some time that the spectacle has allowed “Putin’s cronies to embezzle hundreds of millions of dollars” and asked Coca-Cola to put a rainbow flag on its cans in defiance of Putin’s antigay laws.

And of course, expect his Twitter feed to be very, very active in the next two weeks.

The ranting proper started today, as news of the appalling hotel conditions facing journalists broke, and in the past hour he’s delivered almost a short essay:

Here’s some highlights:

Despite the usual bleating from organisers pleading people to watch the sport, not the politics, Sochi is already one of the most controversial Olympics ever.

Kasparov looks like he’s on a mission to keep it that way.

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