Chess Champ Garry Kasparov: ‘They Were Trying to Break My Leg’
Here is close-up footage of the arrest of Garry Kasparov, standing calmly in
the crowd giving an interview:
The bald man who is taken away (20" into the video) is shouting "Putin
is a criminal!". Then Garry starts giving interview. He says that the protester
are breaking the law, but that it is clear this law only exists to allow the
powers that be to feel more comfortable. He also says many people, especially
young people, think the law is not valid and sure be ignored. Then he is arrested.
As they are bundling him onto the bus, he keeps asking "Why am I being
arrested?" but gets no answer.
Shocking footage of the events – with Kasparov trying to escape from
the bus at around 1:40 min into the video
After being punched in the genitals, thrown in a van and beaten by several
police, Kasparov says the police have accused him of biting one of them –
an allegation he denies. “They act like animals and they accuse me of
biting them,” Kasparov told the Daily Beast in his first interview since
Kasparov said he went to the trial to show his support for Pussy Riot. While
he was waiting for the trial to start, he said, he was giving interviews in
the area outside the court cordoned off for reporters and activists. At one
point, he said, one of the reporters motioned him to come with him into the
courtroom. He said as soon as he walked outside the cordoned-off area, he was
rushed by seven or eight police officers.
“At first I asked, 'Why are you doing this?’” Kasparov said.
“Then I became annoyed. I said I want to get out of here.” He said
that’s when the police started beating him. “I remember one strong
hit between the legs, then they tried to bring me in the bus, and they started
carrying me and beating me. When that happens, you resist,” Kasparov said.
“They were trying to break my leg.”
The police officers, Kasparov said, began to carry his limp body into a van
with others whom they had arrested. The former chess champion said he remembered
screaming in agony. “I remember inside the van they threw me to the floor,”
he said. “Then they took my right leg, they push the leg to the ceiling.
I now have problems with the right side of the back.” Kasparov said when
he was in the van, the police officers continued to beat him. He says the only
witnesses were other people the police had arrested. “Can you imagine
what it means to bite someone when you are being beaten? There should be blood
on my face. It is beyond any common sense.”
At the station, Kasparov said, he was confronted by officers who told him he
wouldn’t be charged. But he said he later saw a police report accusing
him of instigating the violence and organizing a riot outside the courtroom.
“Why the hell did you say I was shouting or trying to organize this, you
saw what happened?” he said he asked the police officers. “They
wouldn’t look in my eyes.”
After nearly five hours in the police station, Kasparov was taken to a nearby
hospital, where staff said the x-ray machine was broken. Speaking late Friday
from his home in Moscow, Kasparov said he intended to press charges against
the police and was collecting video of how he was beaten before being dragged
into the police van.
For Kasparov, his arrest and the trial of Pussy Riot “just shows that
Russia has nothing to do with the rule of law.” He added, “We’ve
been saying Putin is a dictator for years who doesn’t care about the law.
Today, he proved it.”
Kasparov claimed police arrested him for no reason as he was giving an interview,
twisting his arms and kicking him in the crotch on the way to the police van.
He said he would sue police over the incident. Kasparov also denied biting anyone
and said the officer in question, Denis Ratnikov, could have run afoul of a
police dog. A police spokesman said the force was willing to conduct an examination
to compare Kasparov's bite to that of their service dogs.
Updates are being posted at