The World Newspaper Congress played host to Gary Kasparov on Tuesday. The chess wiz and Kremlin antagonist ridiculed his government for imposing limits on free expression. Indeed, Reporters Without Borders' most recent annual index of global press freedom ranks Russia a dismal 144th. Still, there are plenty of places in the world where you can get beaten, arrested or killed for letting people know what's going on.
The results of Sunday's parliamentary election in Russia, which resulted in a sweeping victory for Vladimir Putin's United Russia party and signaled that the president will stay in power beyond the end of his second term next spring, are being questioned on a national and international scale.
Although term limits require Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down in May, many, including chess wizard and opposition leader Garry Kasparov, have speculated that he will find some way to maintain his influence. Putin, it seems, agrees, saying that if his party wins the next election, he will have the "moral right to hold those in the Duma and the Cabinet responsible for the implementation" of his policies.
Vladimir Putin's regime, with the aid of 9,000 police officers, attempted to prevent a rally in Moscow by arresting opposition leader Garry Kasparov along with dozens of other protesters and even some journalists. The chess phenom has accused Putin of trampling on democracy.