‘This is already WW3 and if Putin succeeds in Ukraine all bets are off’ – expert

We are already in the midst of World War Three and if Vladimir Putin succeeds with his "special operation" in Ukraine "all bets are off," according to chess grand master and political activist Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov, who was beaten and arrested by Russian police for protesting in front of the courthouse where the women of the punk band Pussy Riot were on trial in 2012, said Putin threatens democracy worldwide.

"This is already World War III. And this is not just a war against Ukraine; Vladimir Putin is attacking the very foundation of the world we used to live since World War II. And if he succeeds in Ukraine, all bets are off," the 59-year-old said on podcast The Megyn Kelly Show.

READ MORE: Putin ally makes WW3 nuke threat to UK – 'the first to be hit will be London'

At one point in the chat, host Megyn Kelly asks Kasparov whether she thinks Putin has become a "madman" who "has lost his mental faculties in a way we haven't seen before now," and the Azerbaijan-born figure says "absolutely".

"Look, he's been in power for 22 years, it's a long time even for the most intelligent person with the noblest intentions, that could be very damaging.

"And Putin was not one of these kind of guys. His education came from the streets of Leningrad and from KGB school and for the last few years he has been increasingly isolated, as every dictator he has a very small, ever-shrinking inner circle."

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Kasparov added that Putin, 69, doesn't trust internet and open sources, which means he relies on information brought to him by this inner circle, and so "his vision of the world is outdated."

Kasparov added: "And Putin believes that violence is a necessary tool to rule, whether his own subjects, or imposing his will to other countries.

"That's why we should not be surprised that his favourite historical characters are Joseph Stalin and Ivan the Terrible.

"That's the way he sees himself, a man above the law. A man who is the law. He feels that with one finger he can push the red button and destroy the entire world."

Kasparov's comments come as Putin repeatedly warned that Russia has, and will use "if necessary", nuclear weapons.

"He said it already, a year ago, if we have a war all will die like dogs and we will go to heaven," the chess legend continued.

"It shows the mental instability of this person and I have been saying all along, forget about Putin, it's not about him, it's about sending a message to people around him. Those who haven't lost their minds, and who value their lives.

"Only now did the free world come to the conclusion that we are dealing with a mad man. Imagine Adolf Hitler in a Berlin bunker in 1945, imagine if he had this red button, do you have any doubts that he would push it?"


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