Khodorkovsky and Kasparov: Moscow expands list of “foreign agents”

Chodorkowski and Kasparov
Moscow expands list of ‘foreign agents’

Former oligarch Khodorkovsky and former world chess champion Kasparov have long since left their native Russia. Both criticize President Putin. His government classifies the two as “foreign agents”. Therefore, many restrictions and conditions apply.

The Russian government has put former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky on its list of “foreign agents”. Kasparov, 59, and ex-tycoon Khodorkovsky, 58, also had their activities funded by ‘sources’ in Ukraine, Russia’s Justice Ministry justified the decision in an updated version of its list of “foreign agents” .

They are subject to numerous restrictions and requirements, including the obligation to declare their status as a “foreign agent” in all their publications. The classification recalls the vilification of critics in the Soviet Union as “enemies of the people” and is widely used against opposition politicians and journalists critical of the government and human rights activists. The Kremlin accuses them of seeing their activities financed from abroad.


Long-time critic of Putin: former world chess champion Kasparov.

(Picture: picture alliance/dpa)

Well-known former world chess champion Kasparov has long been a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has lived in the United States for almost a decade. Khodorkovsky was one of Russia’s most powerful businessmen in the 1990s before his clash with the Kremlin after Putin came to power in 2000. He spent the time between 2003 and 2013 in Russian custody, after what he went into exile. For years Khodorkovsky provided financial support to the opposition organization Open Russia. The organization disbanded in May last year in the face of mounting pressure.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine on February 24, dozens of journalists and members of Russia’s intellectual elite have fled the country as authorities increased pressure on the country’s remaining critical voices and media.

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