VILNIUS – The Russian public does not yet understand that their country is losing the war in Ukraine and that Vladimir Putin's dictatorship will not survive a defeat, so it is necessary to help Kyiv to win the conflict, Garry Kasparov, a leading Russian opposition activist, said in Vilnius on Friday.
Kasparov, who currently lives in New York, met with Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the Lithuanian parliament's speaker who is also a chess grandmaster, to discuss the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
The Russian opposition figure told reporters after the meeting that they reminisced about "our chess youth", but their conversation focused on other games that, unlike chess, are played by some players without rules.
"In fact, the task of international politics now is to make those who do not follow the rules follow them, because there are international obligations, rules, and the fact that Putin could go unpunished for many years has led to the situation that we have now," he said.
Kasparov noted that, again unlike a chess game, Russia's war against Ukraine cannot end in a draw.
"There is no draw in war. This is a war that will end either in Putin's victory, which is unlikely, or a victory for Ukraine and all of us, and we are looking at what the consequences will be for the world, for Russia, when Ukraine achieves victory," he said.
"The Russian public does not yet understand that the war is already heading towards defeat and Putin's dictatorship will not survive defeat. The Ukrainian flag in Sevastopol is the beginning of Russia's liberation from Putinism, and the most important thing now is to help Ukraine win."
According to Kasparov, sanctions against Russia should remain in place until it compensates Ukraine for war damage and those guilty of war crimes are brought to justice.
The Russia opposition activist believes that the war will not last and that "the situation should be resolved this year".
"Even if someone says the sanctions are not working, this is going to take time, because the sanctions are actually stifling the Russian economy, and no Russian government can survive if the sanctions continue," he said.
"Russia is now a country that has fallen out of the global political and economic process, and even its closest allies, the neighboring dictatorships, have retreated because they do not want to be part of this losing coalition."
"Putin is alone, and it seems to me that the most important thing is to keep the sanctions in place until Ukraine wins, reparations are paid and war criminals are tried, which will lead to an inevitable regime change."
According to Kasparov, Russia will not survive the war "in its current size" and some of its territories will secede, as the Kremlin's defeat in Ukraine will act as a catalyst for processes that are already under way.
In Vilnius on Friday, Kasparov is taking part in a conference organized by the Free Russia Forum, an organization bringing together Russian democrats and opposition activists, to discuss the consequences of the Kremlin's war in Ukraine for Russia and Europe.
Participants of Friday's forum include other Russian opposition figures such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Dmitry Gudkov, Yevgeny Kiselev, Leonid Nevzlin, Ilya Ponomaryov and Konstantin Eggert.