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Kasparov Says Airport Attack Shows Authorities' 'Weakness'

Garry Kasparov pictured here in 2010
Garry Kasparov pictured here in 2010
MOSCOW -- Russian opposition leader and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov says the recent terrorist bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport shows the weakness of Russian authorities, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Kasparov, head of the United Civic Front, told RFE/RL the fact that many Russians see the deadly airport attack at Domodedovo as “preparation for the presidential election next year" shows the attitude of Russian society toward the country's leaders.

“It is hard to imagine that citizens in Israel or the United States might consider a terrorist act part of a preelection campaign," he said.

The airport attack on January 24 killed 35 and injured more than 150 people.

Kasparov said that although Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- who was first made prime minister in 1999 and later replaced President Boris Yeltsin -- came to power as a result of an antiterrorism campaign, he has failed to solve the problem of terrorism in Russia.

Kasparov said Putin promised to bring safety and security to Russians in exchange for sacrificing some of their freedoms, but "he has failed."

When asked by RFE/RL if he plans to leave Russia permanently, Kasparov said he is "not going to please Putin by emigrating."

Kasparov spoke to RFE/RL by phone from an undisclosed location abroad.

Read in Russian here