Former World Chess Champion and Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation Garry Kasparov — who recently made headlines for his fiery interview with MSNBCB’s Lawrence O’Donnell — appeared on Real News From TheBlaze Friday night to discuss “the reign” of Russian President Vladimir Putin in light of the news that he may be running for a 4th term.

With elections not until 2018, if Putin ran and succeeded, he would become the longest-serving Russian leader since Josef Stalin.

When asked to give viewers as sense of “just how repressive and how much of a downturn in civil society and freedom” there has been in Russia under Putin, Kasparov responded that it’s not a “classical dictatorship of the past, when they have to threaten everybody in the country.”

“They’re much smarter now,” he explained. “They can pinpoint the key areas, and just target the people who could cause any problems for the regime, and they create this quasi-constitutional, quasi-legal environment where nothing that threatens the government is available for Russian citizens.”

When asked whether there is support on the ground for yet another term for Putin, Kasparov said with a smile that the difference between the big cities and the countryside in Russia “is much bigger than between New York and Kansas.”

“In Russia it’s very generational,” he said.  “You can see that the middle class, the young people…they’re really frustrated, they’re annoyed.  They don’t want to see Putin’s face again and again for the next ten years.  But there’s too much money available in Russia…and Putin proved to be a very smart ruler who knows how to play all these games, to push all the right buttons, and so far it’s very hard to reach a critical mass…to overthrow the regime.”

Watch the clip below for more from the intriguing interview:

Complimentary Clip from TheBlaze TV

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