Tuesday, May 3 2016 23:24 EEST
Garry Kasparov: Putin's regime does to isolate Russia from the free world and to trap Russians in a bubble
World, Russia, Iron Curtain, Europe, Garry Kasparov, Soviet Union, NATO, USSR, isolation, bans, freedom, travel

According to Foreign Policy, Vladimir Putin imposed an indefinite ban on all air travel between Egypt and Russia. Not even a month later, when the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian fighter jet, the Kremlin issued another open-ended ban, this time on all charter flights to Turkey.

These bans expressly contradict Russians’ constitutionally guaranteed freedom of travel, and are estimated to cover 5 percent of the country’s adult population — an unprecedented number in Russia’s modern history.

Former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist Garry Kasparov shared on Facebook:

'This is an element of Putin's 'USSR Lite' or 'Soft Iron Curtain' methods, typical of his indirect, KGB background style. Along with hybrid war, propaganda, censorship, bans on foreign goods, foreign aggression on the fringes of NATO, and many other things Putin's regime does to isolate Russia from the free world and to trap Russians in a bubble. Reducing travel abroad is just another way to poison Russian minds against the rest of the world and to force-feed propaganda.

Russians can still leave, and record numbers are leaving. But Putin isn't one for dramatic, clear-cut measures like simply closing the borders. Putin's is a dictatorship of a thousand cuts: cuts in freedom, cuts in access to information, and so on. And he's happy to be rid of anyone who might dissent, especially the intelligentsia and the politically involved. Brain-drain is good news for a dictator with huge energy supplies. Education, culture, and industry are worthless to him, and potentially dangerous. Ignorance of the people is bliss for the dictator.'

The Iron Curtain formed the imaginary boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The term symbolized efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and non-Soviet-controlled areas. On the east side of the Iron Curtain were the countries that were connected to or influenced by the Soviet Union. On either side of the Iron Curtain, states developed their own international economic and military alliances.

The Iron Curtain depicted as a black line. Warsaw Pact countries on one side of the Iron Curtain appear shaded red; NATO members on the other shaded blue.

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