In the last couple of years, Vladimir Putin's respect for democratic rights has been broadly questioned throughout the foreign media.
Nonetheless the Russian president's vision of Russia is increasingly popular nationally and he has succeeded in keeping the criticisms at the door of Russia.
Among Putin's fiercest enemies is Garry Kasparov.Today a political dissident protected 24-hours-a-day by bodyguards, Garry Kasparov used to be considered one of the world's greatest chess players.
In 1984, when he was only 22, he became the game's youngest world champion and a hero of the former Soviet Union.
He retired in 2005 to devote his time to politics and to challenging the authority in Russia of the man he calls a dictator and a censor. In September 2007, Kasparov entered the presidential race but was forced to renounce in December after the authorities banned his supporters from nominating him.
As an independent candidate, Kasparov needed 500 people to meet formally to vote on the nomination.A few months ago, People & Power followed Garry Kasparov in his presidential campaign, meeting his opponents and his friends.
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