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Garry Kasparov: Time to call Putin's bluff

Former world chess champion, political activist weighs in on crisis in Ukraine


Given the chance, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov thinks he could put Russian President Vladimir Putin in checkmate. But that's the problem: When it comes to Ukraine, Kasparov says Putin isn't playing chess; he's playing poker.

"He has a weak hand, but he knows how to raise the stakes and he knows how to bluff. And it's time to call his bluff," Kasparov said.

On Thursday, the Russian former chess grandmaster and chairman of the Human Rights Foundation joined co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Bill Hemmer on "America's News HQ" to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

When asked about Putin's endgame, Kasparov predicted that the Russian president will go "as far as he's allowed to go. That's very simple. This is the rule for any dictator."

According to Kasparov, the West's response has been "better than nothing. But, in my view, it's not enough and it's late."

Kasparov's advice? "Don't impose sanctions on 140 million Russians. Pick out 140 oligarchs. Because you cannot have rational arguments with Putin. He's dictator for life.... But every dictator needs his allies, his cronies, his henchmen. And they're vulnerable."

But Kasparov cautioned that any sanctions should not "exclude a demonstration of military might. Dictators can only be stopped by demonstrations of strength. They grow with our weakness, with our indecisiveness."

Kasparov warned: "It's dangerous to confront Putin today, but tomorrow it will be more dangerous and more costly."