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Aug 3, 2022

Assad’s Regime: Friends in Russian Places

Didn't know this! Do you know who's next to Assad in this photo from 2012?

That's Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a Russian businessman, politician, and former World Chess Federation (FIDE) president. In 2015 he was sanctioned by the US for his financial support of the Syrian dictator.

Ilyumzhinov's role as president of FIDE ended in 2018, when the Federatioin's bank accounts in Switzerland were shut down under the Syria sanctions.

He met Saddam Hussein in 2003, played chess with Gaddafi in 2011, and once claimed that aliens abducted him.

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