Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov Warns of a Russia Increasingly Devoid of Freedoms

Until his retirement from the professional game in 2005, Garry Kasparov was widely considered to be the greatest chess player of all time. These days, the Russian grandmaster has moved from battling opponents at the checkered board to fighting for democracy and civil rights.

He is the chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, whose mission is "promoting freedom and human rights around the world and … supporting dissidents, no matter what cause they stand for, as long as it's creative dissent," he said.

Dominating its recent agenda is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month, the foundation held PutinCon, a conference in New York dedicated to examining the Russian leader's rise to power, his 18 years at the helm and his vision for the country's future.

The gathering came two days before Putin was reelected to a fourth term as president and at a time when Moscow faces drastically deteriorating relations with the West, including U.S. financial sanctions and diplomatic expulsions from Britain following accusations that Putin sanctioned the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in England.

Learn more at the L.A. Times

Kate McCarty