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Vladimir Bukovsky

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Title: Vladimir Bukovsky  
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Subject: Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Cases of political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Eduard Kuznetsov, Samizdat, Soviet dissidents
Collection: 1942 Births, 20Th-Century Russian Writers, 21St-Century Russian Writers, Alumni of the University of Cambridge, Amnesty International Prisoners of Conscience, Campaign Against Psychiatric Abuse, Cato Institute People, Critics of the European Union, Living People, Members of the Freedom Association, Neurophysiologists, People from Belebey, Political Abuses of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Survivor Activists, Russian Anti-Communists, Russian Dissidents, Russian Memoirists, Russian Non-Fiction Writers, Russian Political Activists, Russian Political Writers, Solidarnost Politicians, Soviet Dissidents, Soviet Emigrants to the United Kingdom, Soviet Expellees, Soviet Human Rights Activists, Soviet Non-Fiction Writers, Soviet Prisoners and Detainees, Soviet Psychiatric Abuse Whistleblowers, Stanford University Alumni
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Vladimir Bukovsky

Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky
Bukovsky at the Sakharov Congress in Amsterdam, 21 May 1987
Native name Владимир Константинович Буковский
Born (1942-12-30) December 30, 1942
Belebey, Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
Nationality Bashkir
Citizenship  Soviet Union (1942–1976),  Great Britain (1976–present),  Russian Federation (1992–2014)
Alma mater University of Cambridge, Stanford University
Occupation human right activist, writer, neurophysiologist
Known for human rights activism with participation in the Mayakovsky Square poetry readings, the Campaign Against Psychiatric Abuse and struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, The Freedom Association
Movement dissident movement in the Soviet Union, Solidarnost
Awards Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky (Russian: Влади́мир Константи́нович Буко́вский; born 30 December 1942 in Belebey, Bashkir ASSR) was prominent in the Soviet dissident movement of the 1960s and 1970s and has remained in active opposition to the Soviet regime and its successors in Russia since being expelled from the country in late 1976. A writer,[1] neurophysiologist,[2][3] and activist, he is celebrated for his part in the campaign to expose and halt the political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.[4]

From May 1963 to July 1966, with a few brief months of release in 1965, the young Bukovsky was confined to psychiatric hospitals because of his opposition activities. One of the first to alert human rights activists to the growing use of indefinite psychiatric imprisonment against opponents of the regime, Bukovsky would spend a further 12 years of periodic confinement in Soviet psychiatric hospitals, labor camps and prisons.

After months of negotiation between the Soviet and US governments, of which Bukovsky knew nothing, he was taken from Vladimir Prison in December 1976, flown to Switzerland, and exchanged for Luis Corvalán, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Chile, who had been released from captivity by Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator. Following a short stay in the Netherlands Bukovsky settled in the UK[5] where he continued his opposition to the Soviet regime and the shortcomings of its successors.

Today he is a member of the international advisory council for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation,[6] a director of the Gratitude Fund set up in 1998 to commemorate and support former dissidents,[7] a member of the International Council of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, and a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute in Washington.[8] In 2001, Vladimir Bukovsky received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom[9] which has been awarded annually since 1993 by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.


  • Early life 1
  • Activism and imprisonment 2
    • The 1960s 2.1
    • Campaign against abuse of psychiatry 2.2
  • Deportation from the USSR (1976) 3
  • Life in the West 4
  • Judgment in Moscow (1995) 5
  • A Maverick, East and West 6
    • Moscow Mayor — or President of Russia? 6.1
    • Memento Gulag 6.2
    • Contacts with Nemtsov and the Russian Opposition 6.3
    • Criticism of torture in Abu Ghraib prison (Iraq) 6.4
    • Fatal defects of the European Union 6.5
    • Diana West's American Betrayal (2013) 6.6
  • Candidate for Russian Presidency (2008) 7
  • Crimea, Ukraine, Litvinenko Inquiry (2012–2015) 8
  • Health 9
  • Publications 10
    • 1970s 10.1
    • 1980s 10.2
    • 1990s 10.3
    • 2000s 10.4
    • 2010s 10.5
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Early life

Vladimir Bukovsky was born in the town of Belebey in the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (today the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation), to which his family was evacuated during World War II. After the war he and his parents returned to Moscow where his father Konstantin (1908–1976) was a well-known Soviet journalist.[10] During his last year at school Bukovsky was expelled for creating and editing an unauthorized magazine. In order to meet the requirements to apply for a university place he completed his secondary education at evening classes.

Activism and imprisonment

The 1960s

In September 1960 Bukovksy entered Moscow University to study biology. There he and some friends decided to revive the informal Mayakovsky Square poetry readings which began after the 1958 unveiling of a statue to the poet in central Moscow.[11] They made contact with earlier participants of the readings such as Vladimir Osipov,[12] editor of Boomerang (1960), and Yuri Galanskov, editor of Phoenix (1961), who were both now producing literary samizdat.[13]:17–19

It was then that the 19-year-old Bukovsky wrote his critical notes on the [15]

Vladimir Bukovsky in his twenties

In May 1963, Bukovsky was detained and convicted under Article 70.1 ("Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda") of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. The official charge was the making and possession of photocopies of anti-Soviet literature, namely two copies of the banned work The New Class by Milovan Djilas. He was examined by Soviet psychiatrists, declared to be mentally ill, and sent for treatment at the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Leningrad. He remained there almost two years, until February 1965, during which time he became acquainted with fellow inmate General Petro Grigorenko.

In December 1965, Bukovsky helped prepare a demonstration on [15]

In January 1967 Bukovsky,

  • Official Presidential campaign site
  • Faces of Resistance in the USSR: V. Bukovsky. The Andrei Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center at Brandeis University
  • Dissidents, 1970–1979 contain materials concerning activities, arrests and exchange of Bukovsky
  • Russia/Chechnya Voices of Dissent Interviews with rights activists, journalists and others about the situation in Chechnya and its effect on Russia as a whole – Bukovsky, Yelena Bonner, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Anna Politkovskaya, Akhmed Zakayev and others. Produced by Vanessa Redgrave (2006)
  • The Greatest Subversive of Our Times by Michael Ledeen, 29 December 2012)
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • A lecture by Bukovsky at the Cato Institute, 69 min on YouTube
  • "Параллели, события, люди. Двадцать девятая серия. Построить замок" [Parallels, events, people. The twenty-ninth part. To build a castle] (in Russian).  
  • "Параллели, события, люди. Тридцатая серия. Построить замок (часть 2)" [Parallels, events, people. The thirtieth part. To build a castle (part 2)] (in Russian).  

External links

  1. ^ Bukovsky, Vladimir (1978). To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter. Andre Deutsch: London.   351 pp.
  2. ^ Bukovsky's works on neurophysiology
  3. ^ Hilton, Ronald (1986). World affairs report. Volumes 16–17. California Institute of International Studies. p. 26. 
  4. ^ Davidoff, Victor (13 October 2013). "Soviet Psychiatry Returns".  
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "International Advisory Council".  
  7. ^ , No 17 and subsequent issues for an account of this exceptional case.Chronicle of Current EventsThe founder of the Gratitude Fund, Yury Fyodorov was imprisoned for 15 years at the famous Leningrad plane-hijackers trial, see
  8. ^ "Vladimir Bukovsky", Cato Institute website
  9. ^
  10. ^ magazine; he wrote about conditions in the Soviet countryside.Ogonyok. Communist Party member from 1931, war correspondent, after 1946 Bukovsky worked for Kratkaya literaturnaya entsiklopediaKonstantin Ivanovich Bukovsky,
  11. ^ My predchuvstvie, predtecha ...: Ploshchad Mayakovskogo, 1958–1965Vladimir Bukovsky, "A Soviet Hyde-Park Corner" in , Zvenya: Moscow, 1996 (Collection title in English: We were the premonition, the forerunners ...)
  12. ^ Sentenced to 7 years in labour camp for samizdat activities. Released in 1968, see "News in brief", Chronicle of Current Events, Issue 4, 31 October 1968.
  13. ^ a b Rubenstein, Joshua (1980). Soviet dissidents: their struggle for human rights. Boston: Beacon.  
  14. ^ My predchuvstvie, predtecha ...: Ploshchad Mayakovskogo, 1958–1965Vladimir Bukovsky, "Tezisy {o razvale Komsomole}" in Zvenya: Moscow, 1996. See also 1997 book of same name ISBN 5-7870-0002-1
  15. ^ a b , 2009, No 87, issue 3, pp 452–487Slavonic and East European ReviewPhilip Boobbyer, "Vladimir Bukovskii and Soviet Communism"
  16. ^ Litvinov, Pavel (1971). The Trial of The Four: A collection of Materials on the case of Galanskov, Ginzburg, Dobrovolsky, & Lashkova 1967-1968. New York: The Viking Press.  
  17. ^ Alexeyeva, Lyudmila; Goldberg, Paul (1990). The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.  
  18. ^ See Bukovsky Archives, Section 3.1 "1960–1969", 4 September 1967, P 1393
  19. ^ Horvath, Robert (2005). The Legacy of Soviet Dissent: Dissidents, Democratisation and Radical Nationalism in Russia. BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies 17. London; New York: RoutledgeCurzon.  
  20. ^ See A Chronicle of Current Events, 28 February 1970 (No 12) "Samizdat update, item 11" and 31 December 1970 (No 17) "Samizdat update, item 8".
  21. ^ Litvinov, Pavel (1969). The demonstration in Pushkin Square. The trial records with commentary and an open letter. London: Harvill.  
  22. ^ a b Abuse of psychiatry for political repression in the Soviet Union. New York: Arno. 1973.  
  23. ^ a b Reddaway, Peter (March 12, 1971). "Plea to West on Soviet 'mad-house' jails".  
  24. ^ a b Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1984). Soviet Psychiatric Abuse. The Shadow Over World Psychiatry. London: Gollancz.  
  25. ^ "Ivan Yakhimovich". Antholgy of Samizdat. 
  26. ^ "Victor Kuznetsov". Sakharov Center. 
  27. ^ "По 70-й статье".  
  28. ^ a b Richter, Derek (August 1, 1971). "Political Dissenters in Mental Hospitals" (PDF). The British Journal of Psychiatry 119 (549): 225–226.  
  29. ^ a b c Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1977). Russia's Political Hospitals. London: Gollancz.  
  30. ^ The Times, September 16, 1971, p. 17.
  31. ^ Bukovskii, Vladimir (1996). Moskovskii Protsess [Moscow trial] (in Русский). Moscow: MIK. 
  32. ^ For more details of Bukovsky's arrest and trial, see  
  33. ^ Bukovskiĭ, Vladimir; Gluzman, Semyon (1976). A manual on psychiatry for dissidents. printed by Keuffel and Esser. 
  34. ^ (Russian) A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissidents ("Пособие по психиатрии для инакомыслящих")
  35. ^ Helmchen, Hanfried;  
  36. ^ Chenoweth (1992, p. 4): Chenoweth, Eric (Summer 1992). "The gallant warrior: In memoriam Tom Kahn" (PDF). Uncaptive Minds: A Journal of Information and Opinion on Eastern Europe (in Polish) (1718 M Street, NW, No. 147, Washington DC 20036, USA: Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE)) 5 (20, number 2): 5–16.  
  37. ^ Laird, Robbin; Hoffmann, Erik (1986). Soviet foreign policy in a changing world. Transaction Publishers. p. 79.  
  38. ^ Ulianova, Olga (2013), "Corvalán for Bukovsky: a real exchange of prisoners during an imaginary war. The Chilean dictatorship, the Soviet Union, and US mediation, 1973–1976", Cold War History,  
  39. ^ van Voren, Robert (2009). On Dissidents and Madness: From the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev to the "Soviet Union" of Vladimir Putin. Amsterdam—New York: Rodopi. p. 7.  
  40. ^ The English title is derived from one of Bukovsky's distractions, invented to while away long hours behind bars. He would imagine constructing a fortress from the ground up, To Build a Castle, Andre Deutsch: London, 1978, pp. 22–23.
  41. ^ "What does a man gaine from all his labour and his toil here under the sun? ... The wind blows south, the wind blows north, round and round it goes and returns full circle", Ecclesiastes, 1:3–6.
  42. ^ le vent reprend ses tours : Ma vie de dissident, Editions du Rocher, 1978, 406 pages (ISBN 978-2221001288)
  43. ^ В.Буковский (1978) «И возвращается ветер…»
  44. ^ B.Буковский (1978) «И возвращается ветер…»
  45. ^ В. Буковский (1978) «И возвращается ветер…»
  46. ^ Vladimir Bukovsky, "How Russia breaks the rules of the Games", letter to The Daily Telegraph, 2 October 1979; "Do athletes want the KGB to win the Olympics?" News of the World, 20 January 1980
  47. ^ "The Soviet Union and the Peace Movement".  
  48. ^ "American Foundation for Resistance International". Powerbase. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  49. ^ "Is Glasnost a Game of Mirrors?".  . Unexpectedly this op-ed was translated into Russian and quickly published in Moscow as well (Moskovskie novosti, 29 March 1987).
  50. ^ Bukovsky Archives online, Section 4 "Perestroika", 5 December 1991.
  51. ^ The official Presidential website, Bukovsky biography (in Russian).
  52. ^ Many of these scanned documents are today available online as the "Soviet Archives" and are provided with English lists of titles and contents, and over one hundred translations.
  53. ^ Glazov, Jamie (9 May 2002). "The West lost the War: Vladimir Bukovsky".  
  54. ^ Glazov, Jamie (1 July 2002). "The Cold War and the War Against Terror".  
  55. ^ See German version, Abrechnung mit Moskau. Das sowjetische Unrechtsregime und die Schuld des Westens, Bergisch Gladbach, 1996.
  56. ^ Proces moskiewski (ISBN 83-7227-190-9), Warsaw 1999.
  57. ^ , Spring 2010City JournalClaire Berlinski, "A Hidden History of Evil", .
  58. ^ , No 4, 20 January 2003.Novaya gazetaAnna Politkovskaya, "Flying over the Nest",
  59. ^ Declaration of the "2008 – A Free Choice" Committee, 29 January 2004 (retrieved 10 June 2015).
  60. ^ They Chose Freedom, a documentary series made by the 23-year-old journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza (in Russian)
  61. ^ Bukovsky, Vladimir (18 December 2005). "Torture's Long Shadow".  
  62. ^ The Brussels Journal: The Voice of Conservatism in Europe, a periodical of the Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe or SAFE
  63. ^ a b Belien, Paul (27 February 2006). "Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship. An interview with Vladimir Bukovsky".  
  64. ^ "Council & Supporters", The Freedom Association website
  65. ^ "Former Soviet dissident wants Russia split up" (17 October 2007). Russia Today [Retrieved 13 April 2012].
  66. ^ "McCarthy on steroids", Frontpagemag, 7 August 2013
  67. ^ "Why Academics Hate Diana West",, 26 September 2013
  68. ^ "Another Personal Attack by Diana West and Her Friends",, 28 September 2013
  69. ^ See also Charles Moore, "A national treasure or the KGB's useful idiot?", Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2010.
  70. ^ Chapter 3, "Back to the Future: 3.12 The Party's most powerful weapon", Judgment in Moscow: A Dissident in the Soviet Archives, forthcoming (2015). See Jugement a Moscou, 1995, pp 233–234.
  71. ^ As per previous note, Chapter 3, "Back to the Future", Judgment in Moscow, 2015. See Jugement a Moscou, 1995, pp 233–234.
  72. ^ Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky agrees to run for Russian president (Russian), Newsru, 28 May 2007. Computer translation.
  73. ^ Statement by the Action Group for Vladimir Bukovsky's Nomination as a Candidate for RF President (Russian), Prima News, 28 May 2007 Computer translation
  74. ^ Victor Shenderovich and lawyer Yury Shmidt support the candidacy of Vladimir Bukovsky (Russian), Prima News, 8 June 2007 Computer translation
  75. ^ Timeline of Vladimir Bukovsky's nomination as a 2008 presidential candidate (Russian), Prima News, June 22, 2007. Computer translation
  76. ^ On judicial aspects of Bukovsky's nomination (Russian), Action Group for Vladimir Bukovsky's Nomination, 12 July 2007 Computer translation
  77. ^ Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has been nominated a candidate for president (Russian), Echo of Moscow, 16 December 2007 Computer translation
  78. ^ Bukovsky submitted his documents on time to the Central Electoral Commission (Russian), Newsru, 18 December 2007 Computer translation
  79. ^ CEC accepted documents from Vladimir Bukovsky (Russian), BBC Russian Service, 18 December 2007 Computer translation
  80. ^ Soviet dissident Bukovsky pulls out of presidential race, RIA Novosti, 19 December 2007
  81. ^ The media has been spreading incorrect information about Bukovsky's decision not to run (Russian), the official site of the "Bukovsky for President!" Action Group, 20 December 2007 Computer translation
  82. ^ Supreme Court completely rejected Bukovsky's registration (Russian), "Bukovsky for President!" Action group, 15 January 2008 Computer translation
  83. ^ Подрабинек, Александр (30 March 2011). Буковский против Горбачева. Не юбилейные показания [Bukovsky vs Gorbachev. Non-jubilee testimonies] (in Russian).  
  84. ^ , 17 March 2010 (in Russian)Novaya GazetaSee "Garry Kasparov: 'You can't send in the riot police onto the Internet'", .
  85. ^ , 14 April 2014Charter 97"Putin's system will collapse", Andrei Sannikov talks to Vladimir Bukovsky,
  86. ^ , 31 October 2014Radio Liberty"Ex-Soviet Dissident Says Russia Won’t Renew His Passport",
  87. ^ Litvinenko Inquiry, Hearings, Day 26
  88. ^ "Litvinenko Affair", Sunday-AM programme, 10 December 2006, interview with Andrew Marr
  89. ^ news agency, 7 May 2015.Rosbalt"Heart operation on the dissident Bukovsky",
  90. ^
  91. ^


See also

  • Горбаневский, Ярослав (26 September 2011). Буковский: тандем больше не оглядывается на мнение Запада [Bukovsky: The Putin-Medvedev Tandem no longer takes note of Western opinion] (in Russian).  
  • Гальперович, Данила (30 December 2011). "Владимир Буковский – о поколении Facebook, противостоящем КГБ" [Vladimir Bukovsky – on the Facebook generation opposing the KGB] (in Russian).  
  • Кара-Мурза, Владимир (27 July 2014). Государство вновь экономит на репрессированных: Обсуждаем с правозащитниками Яном Рачинским, Владимиром Буковским, Сергеем Ковалевым и Татьяной Курсиной [Once again the Russian State makes savings at the expense of its prison population: Discussion with human rights activists Yan Rachinsky, Vladimir Bukovsky, Sergey Kovalyov, and Tatiana Kursina] (in Russian).  
  • "The power of the new KGB (Bukovsky interview)".  
  • Наследники Лаврентия Берия. Путин и его команда [The heirs of Lavrenty Beria : Putin and his team] (in Russian). Moscow: Алгоритм. 2013.  
  • Шарый, Андрей (16 August 2014). Россия похожа на Совдепию [Russia resembles Soviet "democracy" (Bukovsky interview)] (in Russian).  
  • Гальперович, Данила (4 November 2014). Владимир Буковский: Кремль может заиграться в "могучую ядерную державу" [Vladimir Bukovsky: The Kremlin can forget itself in playing at being "a mighty nuclear power"] (in Russian).  
  • "Russia’s imperial stance will not vanish with Putin. We should not get our hopes up if he dies". Current Events Poland. 12 March 2015. 
  • Judgment in Moscow : Soviet crimes and the West's complicity (English edition, forthcoming), spring 2016.


  • "Roll up! Roll up!".  
  • Glazov, Jamie (9 May 2002). "The West lost the War: Vladimir Bukovsky (Bukovsky's interview)".  
  • Glazov, Jamie (1 July 2002). "The Cold War and the War Against Terror (Bukovsky's interview)".  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir; Bonner, Elena (10 March 2003). "An Open Letter to President Bush".  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir (12 May 2003). "GULag — A History of the Soviet Camps".   (Review of Anne Applebaum's Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps, London / New York, 2003)
  • Glazov, Jamie (30 May 2003). "A Conversation With Vladimir Bukovsky".  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir; Stroilov, Pavel (2004). EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration.  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir; Stroilov, Pavel (2005). L’Union européenne, une nouvelle URSS? (in French). Le Rocher.  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir (18 December 2005). "Torture's Long Shadow".  
  • Письма русского путешественника [Letters of a Russian traveler] (in Russian). Moscow & St Petersburg: Нестор-История [Nestor-History]. 2008. 
  • Belien, Paul (27 February 2006). "Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship. An interview with Vladimir Bukovsky".  
  • Preobrazhensky, Konstantin (28 October 2009). "How Putin is separating America from Europe: Vladimir Bukovsky discusses how the Russians are achieving their #1 goal".  
  • Preobrazhensky, Konstantin (24 April 2009). "The Kremlin's Obama Gambit (Bukovsky's interview)".  


  • Jugement a Moscou (French edn), ISBN 2-221-07460-2, Robert Laffont: Paris, 1995, 616 pp.
  • Московский процесс (Russian edn), Russkaya mysl: Paris & Moscow, 1996.
  • Moskiewski proces (Polish edn), ISBN 83-7227-190-9, Warsaw, 1999.
  • Soviet Archives (1999), compiled by Vladimir Bukovsky, and prepared for electronic publication by Julia Zaks (1938–2014) and Leonid Chernikhov. This online archive contains photocopies of almost seven hundred original documents, over one hundred of which are available in English translation.

The various language editions of Judgment in Moscow (Московский процесс) and the online Bukovsky Archives were based on Bukovsky's work from June to December 1992 at the Central Committee archives in Moscow, in preparation for the Trial of the CPSU.

  • "Squaring the Soviet Circle".  
  • "What to Do About the Soviet Collapse".  
  • "Boris Yeltsin's Hollow Victory".  
  • "Secrets of the Central Committee".  


  • Почему русские ссорятся? [Why are Russians quarrelling?].   (Retrieved 26 March 2014)
  • ]Letters of a Russian travelerПисьма русского путешественника [ (in Russian). New York: Chalidze publications. 1981. 
  • "The Soviet Union and the Peace Movement" (PDF).  
  • ]Pacifists Against PeaceПацифисты против мира [ (in Russian). Paris: La Presse Libra. 1982. 
  • "Socialism east and west".  
  • Schaeffer, Francis; Bukovsky, Vladimir; Hitchcock, James (1983). Who Is for Peace?. Thomas Nelson Incorporated.  
  • Illusion in the West: Pacifists Against Peace. California Seminar on International Security and Foreign Policy. 1984. 
  • "Is Glasnost a Game of Mirrors?".   (Retrieved 14 May 2015)
  • Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility (with Sidney Hook and Paul Hollander), Ethics & Public Policy Center, 1987. ISBN 0-89633-113-X
  • To Choose Freedom, Hoover Institution: Stanford University, 1987. ISBN 0-8179-8442-9
  • Voren, Robert van; Bukovskiĭ, Vladimir (1988). ]Gorbachev, between hope and illusion [Gorbatsjov, tussen hoop en illusie (in Dutch). Buijten & Schipperheijn.  
  • Urban, George (1 October 1987). "Can the Soviet Union Be Reformed? An Interview with Vladimir Bukovsky".  
  • "Who Resists Gorbachev?".  
  • И возвращается ветер ... (Russian) First Soviet serialisation of Bukovsky's late 1970s biography in Teatr periodical, Moscow, 1987–1988. (Published in book form in the USSR in 1990.)


  • Une nouvelle maladie mentale en URSS: l'opposition [The opposition: A new "mental illness" in the USSR] (in French). Paris: Le Seuil. 1971.  
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir; Gluzman, Semyon (1975). "A dissident’s guide to psychiatry". A Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR (New York: Kronika Press) (13): 31–57. 
  • Bukovsky, Vladimir; Gluzman, Semyon (1976). A manual on psychiatry for dissidents.  
  • "USSR: status of political prisoners".  
  • "Vladimir Bukovsky: An Interview".  
  • И возвращается ветер ... (Russian) (First Soviet serialisation in Teatr periodical, Moscow, 1987–1988; published in book form in the USSR in 1990.)
  • To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter (PDF). London: Andrei Deutsch (UK edn). 1978. 
  • To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter. New York: Viking Press (US edn). 1979.  
  • "The Soul of Man Under Socialism".  


List of publications of Vladimir Bukovsky in all languages.

Bukovsky's appeal against exclusion from the presidential race, decision of the Russian Supreme Court, 28 December 2007.


After partial recovery from his lengthy heart surgery, Vladimir Bukovsky responded to charges brought against him by the UK Crown Prosecution Service earlier in the year.[90] Issuing a High Court writ for libel, Vladimir Bukovsky said that the CPS had defamed him, and claimed damages of £100,000.[91]

In early May it was reported that Bukovsky had undergone a 9-hour heart operation in a private German clinic, during which he was given two artificial valves. Subsequently Bukovsky was kept in a medically-induced coma for three days to improve his chances of recovery.[89]


On 17 March 2015 at the long-delayed inquiry into Alexander Litvinenko's fatal poisoning Bukovsky gave his views as to why the former FSB man had been murdered.[87] Eight years later, interviewed on BBC TV, Bukovsky expressed no doubt that the Russian authorities were responsible for the London death of Litvinenko on 23 November 2006.[88]

Following the winter 2014 Sochi Olympics the Russian Federation annexed Crimea. The West responded with sanctions targeted at Putin's immediate entourage, and Bukovsky expressed the hope that this would prove the end of his regime.[85] In October 2014 the Russian authorities declined to issue Bukovsky with a new foreign-travel passport.[86]

Bukovsky was among the first 34 signatories of the online anti-Putin manifesto "Putin must go", published on 10 March 2010.[84] In May 2012, however, Vladimir Putin began his third term as president of the Russian Federation after serving four years as the country's prime minister. The following year Bukovsky published a book in Russia which described Putin and his team as The heirs of Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin's last and most notorious secret police chief.

Crimea, Ukraine, Litvinenko Inquiry (2012–2015)

On 30 March 2011, Bukovsky requested the arrest of Mikhail Gorbachev by the British authorities after submitting to Westminster Magistrates' Court materials on the crimes against humanity that the former Soviet leader had allegedly committed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[83]

In 2009 Bukovsky joined the council of the new Solidarnost coalition which brought together a wide range of extra-parliamentary opposition forces.

On 22 December 2007 the Central Electoral Commission turned down Bukovsky's application, on the grounds that [1] he had failed to give information about his activities as a writer when submitting his documents, [2] he was holding a British residence permit, and [3] he had not been living in Russia during the past ten years. Bukovsky appealed against the decision at the RF Supreme Court on 28 December 2007 and, subsequently, before its cassation board on 15 January 2008.[82]

The Action Group in support of Bukovsky's candidacy denied claims by pro-government media that Bukovsky had failed in his campaign to become RF President and in appeals before the RF Constitutional Court.[80][81]

Responding to pro-Kremlin politicians and commentators who expressed doubt about Bukovksy's electoral prospects, his nominators rejected a number of frequently repeated allegations.[76] In Moscow more than 800 citizens of the Russian Federation nominated Bukovsky for president on 16 December 2007. Bukovsky secured the required number of signatures to register and submitted his application to the Central Election Commission on time, 18 December 2007.[77][78][79]

The group that nominated Bukovsky as a candidate included Yuri Ryzhov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Alexander Podrabinek, Andrei Piontkovsky, Vladimir Pribylovsky and others.[73] Activists, commentators and novelists — Valeria Novodvorskaya, Victor Shenderovich, and Vladimir Sorokin — also favoured Bukovsky.[74][75]

On 28 May 2007, Bukovsky agreed to stand against Dmitry Medvedev and other candidates in the May 2008 Russian presidential election.[72]

Vladimir Bukovsky, 2007

Candidate for Russian Presidency (2008)

The majority of Sovietologists and Slavists, experts on Russia and the Soviet Union, were dependent on the regime for permission to visit the USSR from time to time. A specialist could not secure his place and reputation in the current academic world without that contact: anyone might accuse him of having lost touch and no longer retaining his expertise. The chance to travel to the USSR, however, was closely monitored in those years by the KGB.

Post-Stalin generations of specialists on the USSR and Eastern Europe, Bukovsky cautioned, had been subjected to similar pressures and inducements in the 1970s and 1980s:[71]

The majority of these “agents of influence”, moreover, were not in a literal sense KGB agents. Some distributed Soviet disinformation for idealistic reasons; others were paying off an old “debt” to the KGB or, on the contrary, expected some new reward or service; others simply did not know what they were doing. [...] The examples are endlessly varied.

Ten years earlier, Bukovsky sketched some of the numerous and insidious ways such Western complicity was secured.[69] Beyond those who were recruited as Soviet agents and consciously worked for the USSR, as he explained in Judgment in Moscow (1995), there were men and women whom the KGB and GRU classified as "agents of influence" and "confidential contacts":[70]

It grieves me to see a hero of the anti-Communist struggle, Vladimir Bukovsky, join the character assassins that Diana West has mobilized to attack Radosh and me because FrontPage posted a bad review of her book. ...It grieves me even more because he goes out of his way to defend her preposterous claims, e.g., that the division of Europe at Yalta was a Soviet plot when everyone knows the division was drawn by Winston Churchill, hardly a Soviet stooge. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of howlers like this in West’s 400-page, 900-footnote book, which is why we gave it a bad review.

In turn Bukovsky himself was taken to task by David Horowitz,whose Frontpage Magazine had carried the Radosh review:[68]

That treacherous Establishment is still there. We are still governed by a nomenklatura of collaborationists, Petains and Quislings of the Cold War. Mrs. West has reached that conclusion merely by examining the first chapters of this sad story. Sure enough, there are mountains of other and more recent evidence to support her conclusions. But of course, whatever the evidence, the "consensus" will never plead guilty. Rather, they will try and usurp the judicial seat.

In September 2013, Bukovsky entered the controversy over Diana West's American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, a book dismissed by historian Professor Ronald Radosh as "McCarthy on Steroids".[66] Responding at, Bukovsky rejected Radosh's criticisms, condemned the attempt to portray West as a deluded and historically inept conspiracy-monger, and supported her conclusions as to the infiltration of the Roosevelt government by Stalinist agents and fellow-travellers:[67]

Diana West's American Betrayal (2013)

In 2007, following a similar line of argument, Bukovsky suggested that Russia was too big and should be broken up into several smaller countries. It was an opinion quickly reported to audiences around the world by the new State-funded English-language broadcaster Russia Today.[65]

There were certain parallels, Bukovsky warned in his interview, between the formation of the Soviet Union and the European Union. In 2006 he described the perils of the USSR, with its model whereby nationalities and ethnic groups were dissolved to create a new "Soviet nation". While Soviet ideology postulated that the State would eventually wither away, Bukovsky pointed out that the reality was quite different: the State had become paramount. As an expression of his Eurosceptic position Bukovsky is vice-president of The Freedom Association (TFA) in the United Kingdom[64] and has been a patron of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).[63]

Meanwhile they are introducing more and more ideology. The Soviet Union used to be a state run by ideology. Today’s ideology of the European Union is social-democratic, statist, and a big part of it is also political correctness. I watch very carefully how political correctness spreads and becomes an oppressive ideology, not to mention the fact that they forbid smoking almost everywhere now.

In a February 2006 interview with The Brussels Journal,[62] Bukovsky said he had read confidential documents from secret Soviet files in 1992 which confirmed the existence of a "conspiracy" to turn the European Union into a socialist organization. The European Union was a "monster", he argued, and it must be destroyed, the sooner the better, "before it develops into a full-fledged totalitarian state",[63]

Bukovsky and Vladimir Kara-Murza during Bukovsky's presidential campaign rally at Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow, 20 October 2007

Fatal defects of the European Union

US President Barack Obama repudiated the Torture Memos on 20 January 2009, two days after taking office.

Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one's sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists.

As revelations mounted about the sanctioned torture of captives in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, Abu Ghraib and the CIA secret prisons, Bukovsky entered the discussion with an uncompromising attack on the official if covert rationalization of torture. In an 18 December 2005 op-ed in the Washington Post Bukovsky recounted his experience under torture in Lefortovo prison in 1971. Once commenced, he warned, the inertia of torture was difficult to control, corrupting those who carried it out.[61] "Torture", he wrote, "has historically been an instrument of oppression — not an instrument of investigation or of intelligence gathering." Bukovsky explained:

Criticism of torture in Abu Ghraib prison (Iraq)

In 2005 Bukovsky was among the prominent dissidents of the 1960s and 1970s (Gorbanevskaya, Sergei Kovalyov, Eduard Kuznetsov, Alexander Podrabinek, Yelena Bonner) who took part in Vladimir Kara-Murza's They Chose Freedom,[60] a four-part documentary on the Soviet dissident movement.

In January 2004, with Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza and others, Bukovsky was a co-founder of Committee 2008.[59] This umbrella organization of the Russian democratic opposition was formed to ensure free and fair elections in 2008 when a successor to Vladimir Putin was elected.

On one of journalist Anna Politkovskaya's frequent visits to Britain she interviewed Vladimir Bukovsky and Boris Berezovsky to provide a "comparative analysis of different waves of political emigration". With Bukovsky, "The Patriarch" as he was called in the published version of her article, she discussed the position of those who had gained political asylum in Britain (Ahmed Zakayev, Alexander Litvinenko), and the attitudes of the UK government of Tony Blair and of the European Parliament to the situation in Chechnya. During their talk Bukovsky expressed disapproval of the way in which Slobodan Milosevic was brought before the Hague tribunal.[58]

In 2002 Boris Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia who was then an elected member of the State Duma and leader of the Union of Rightist Forces, paid a visit to Bukovsky in Cambridge. He wanted to discuss the strategy of the Russian opposition. It was imperative, Bukovsky told Nemtsov, that Russian liberals adopt an uncompromising stand toward what he saw as the authoritarian government of President Vladimir Putin.

Contacts with Nemtsov and the Russian Opposition

At the 1997 AGM of the Comitatus pro Libertatibus – Comitati per le Libertà –Freedom Committees in Florence, Bukovsky was elected President of this international movement dedicated to defend and empower the culture of liberties in all countries. Re-elected for another term, Bukovsky together with Dario Fertilio and Stéphane Courtois, a writer and an historian, promoted an annual Memento Gulag, or Memorial Day devoted to the Victims of Communism, on 7 November (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution). The Memento Gulag has since been held in Rome, Bucharest, Berlin, La Roche sur Yon and Paris.

Memento Gulag

In early 1996 a group of Moscow academics, journalists and intellectuals suggested that Vladimir Bukovsky should run for President of Russia as an alternative candidate to both incumbent President Boris Yeltsin and his main challenger Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. However, no formal nomination process was initiated.

In 1992 a group of liberal deputies of the Moscow City Council proposed Bukovsky's candidacy for elections of the new Mayor of Moscow, following the resignation of the previous Mayor, Gavriil Popov. Bukovsky refused the offer. Deputy mayor Yury Luzhkov took over, and ran the city from 1992 to 2010.

Moscow Mayor — or President of Russia?

He supported Yeltsin against the Supreme Soviet in the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis but criticised the new Constitution of Russia which followed as being "too authoritarian". After the publication of Judgment in Moscow in French (1995) and then in Russian (1996), he was denied entry to Russia from October 1996 until 2007, in the run-up to the 2008 Presidential elections.

Soon Vladimir Bukovsky was again out of favour with the Russian authorities.

A Maverick, East and West

The book was translated into several languages.[55] It was published in French, but never in English. Random House bought the rights to the manuscript, but the publisher, in Bukovsky's words, tried to make the author "rewrite the whole book from the liberal left political perspective." Bukovsky resisted, explaining to the Random House editor that he was "allergic to political censorship" because of "certain peculiarities of my biography". (The contract was subsequently cancelled.) The French edition appeared in 1995 as Jugement à Moscou. The book has also been published in Russian (1996) and certain other Slavic languages, most notably the Polish edition which for a time became a bestseller.[56][57]

It took several years and a team of assistants to piece together the scanned fragments (many only half a page in width) of the hundreds of documents photocopied by Bukovsky and then, in 1999, to make them available online (see Soviet Archives, compiled by Vladimir Bukovsky, and published online by Julia Zaks and Leonid Chernikhov). Many of the same documents were extensively quoted and cited in Bukovsky's Judgment in Moscow (1995), where he described and analysed what he had uncovered about recent Soviet history and about the relations of the USSR and the CPSU with the West.

Having failed to finish off conclusively the communist system, we are now in danger of integrating the resulting monster into our world. It may not be called communism anymore, but it has retained many of its dangerous characteristics... Until a Nuremberg-style tribunal passes its judgement on all the crimes committed by communism, it is not dead and the war is not over.

Some hoped that the "Trial of the CPSU" might play a similar role to the first Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and even to serve on the commission for the post-1917 victims of political repression.[53] Bukovsky expressed his deep disappointment with this failure in his writings and interviews.[54]

In 1992, after the TsKhSD). With the help of a small hand-held scanner and a laptop computer, he managed secretly to scan many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Central Committee. The copies were then smuggled to the West.[52]

In April 1991 Vladimir Bukovsky visited Moscow for the first time since his deportation fifteen years before. In the run-up to the 1991 presidential election the team around Boris Yeltsin considered Bukovsky as one of a number of potential vice-presidential running-mates (others were Galina Starovoitova and Gennady Burbulis). In the end, army officer Alexander Rutskoy, a veteran of the 1979–1989 war in Afghanistan and Hero of the Soviet Union was selected. On 5 December 1991 both of Bukovsky's Soviet-era convictions were annulled by a decree of the RSFSR Supreme Court.[50] The following year President Yeltsin formally restored Bukovsky's Russian citizenship: he had never been deprived of his Soviet citizenship, despite deportation from the country.[51]

Judgment in Moscow (1995)

In March 1987 Bukovsky and nine other émigré authors (Ernst Neizvestny, Yury Lyubimov, Vasily Aksyonov and Leonid Plyushch among them) caused a furore in the West and then in the Soviet Union itself when they raised doubts about the substance and sincerity of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms.[49]

In 1983, together with Cuban dissident Eduard Kuznetsov. In 1985 it expanded into the American Foundation for Resistance International[48] Among the prominent members of the board were Albert Jolis and Jeane Kirkpatrick while Midge Decter, Yuri Yarim-Agaev, Richard Perle, Saul Bellow, Robert Conquest and Martin Colman were on the body's advisory committee. The Foundation aimed to be a coordinating centre for dissident and democratic movements seeking to overturn communism in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. It organized protests in the communist countries and in the West, and opposed western financial assistance to communist governments. The Foundation also created the National Council to Support Democratic Movements (National Council for Democracy) with the goal of aiding the emergence of democratic rule-of-law governments, and providing assistance with the writing of constitutions and the formation of civil institutions.

Since he has lived in the West Bukovsky has written many essays and polemical articles. These not only criticized the Soviet regime and, later, that of Vladimir Putin, but also exposed "Western gullibility" in the face of Soviet abuses and, in some cases, what he believed to be Western complicity in such crimes (see American Betrayal sub-section below). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Bukovsky campaigned successfully for an official UK and US boycott of the summer 1980 Olympics in Moscow.[46] During the same years he voiced concern about the activities and policies of the Western peace movements.[47]

Once settled in Britain Bukovsky gained a Masters Degree in Biology at Cambridge and wrote and published To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter (1978).[40] (The title in Russian, And the Wind Returns ..., is a Biblical allusion.)[41] The book was translated into English, French and German.[42] It is available online in Russian at a number of websites.[43][44][45]

Life in the West

Had he served the full sentence handed down in 1972 Vladimir Bukovsky would have regained his freedom in 1981. In December 1976, however, he was forcibly deported from the USSR and exchanged at Zürich airport by the Soviet government for Luis Corvalán,[37][38] the imprisoned Chilean Communist leader. Bukovsky moved to Great Britain and settled in Cambridge in order to resume his studies in biology.[39]:7 In his 1978 autobiography Bukovsky describes how he was brought to Switzerland in handcuffs.

The fate of Bukovsky and other political prisoners in the Soviet Union, was repeatedly brought to world attention by Western human rights groups and diplomats.

Bukovsky was a guest at the 1977 AFL–CIO Convention in Los Angeles. He appears (center) with Theodore Bikel (right, President of the Actors' Equity Association.[36]

Deportation from the USSR (1976)

While in prison Bukovsky and fellow inmate psychiatrist Semyon Gluzman jointly wrote A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissenters.[33][34] It instructed potential victims of political psychiatry how to behave during interrogation in order to avoid being diagnosed as mentally ill.[35]

These activities served as a pretext for a public denunciation of Bukovsky in Pravda as a "malicious hooligan, engaged in anti-Soviet activities" and his arrest on 29 March 1971. He spent approximately three months in a psychiatric institution, but in November 1971 a committee including Professor Lunts from the Serbsky Institute pronounced him mentally sound. At his trial in January 1972 Bukovsky was accused of slandering Soviet psychiatry, contacts with foreign journalists, and the possession and distribution of samizdat. On this occasion he again used his final words to the court to reach a far wider audience when the text circulated in samizdat. He was sentenced to two years in prison, five in a labor camp, and five more in internal exile.[22]:31–32[32]

The information galvanized human rights activists worldwide and those within the Soviet Union. In September that year 44 European psychiatrists wrote to The Times (London) expressing grave doubts about the diagnoses of the six people concerned.[30] At a meeting in November 1971, the World Federation for Mental Health called on its members to investigate the charges and defend the right to free opinion where it was threatened.[29]:85 Responding to public pressure, the World Psychiatric Association finally condemned Soviet practices at its Sixth World Congress in 1977 and set up a review committee to monitor misuse. In 1983 the Soviet representatives withdrew from the World Psychiatric Association rather than face expulsion.[24]:42–44 Bukovsky later characterized this reaction as "the most important victory for the dissident form of glasnost".[31]:144

The documents were released to the press in March 1971 by a small French group called the International Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, and Bukovsky's letter appeared in The Times (London) and the British Journal of Psychiatry[23][28][29]:79; 82

"In recent years in our country a number of court orders have been made involving the placing in psychiatric hospitals ("of special type" and otherwise) of people who in the opinion of their relatives and close friends are mentally healthy. These people are: Grigorenko, Rips, Gorbanevskaya, Novodvorskaya, Yakhimovich,[25] Gershuni, Fainberg, Victor Kuznetsov,[26] Ioffe,[27] V. Borisov and others – people well known for their initiative in defence of civil rights in the U.S.S.R.

This phenomenon arouses justified anxiety, especially in view of the widely publicized placing of the biologist Zhores Medvedev in a psychiatric hospital by extrajudical means.

— Bukovsky's 1971 letter addressed to Western Psychiatrists[28][29]:80–81

In 1971 Bukovsky managed to smuggle to the West over 150 pages documenting abuse of psychiatric institutions for political reasons in the Soviet Union. In an accompanying letter, addressed to "Western psychiatrists" and written in a deliberately restrained tone, Bukovsky asked them to consider if the evidence justified the isolation of several dissidents, and to discuss the matter at the next International Congress of Psychiatrists.[13]:138–141[23][24]:29–30

The psychiatric hospital or psikhushka was used in the 1960s and 1970s by the Soviet authorities as a form of punishment and deterrence, imprisoning healthy individuals among mentally ill and often dangerous patients and forcing them to take various psychotropic drugs.

Campaign against abuse of psychiatry

Bukovsky's final words in court circulated widely in a samizdat collection of such addresses[20] and as part of a collection of materials about the demonstration and subsequent trials compiled by Pavel Litvinov.[21]:87–95[22]:37–43 Fellow protestors Vadim Delaunay and Evgeny Kushev received suspended jail sentences and were released. Bukovsky was given three years in an "ordinary regime" corrective labor camp, and was sent to Bor in the Voronezh Region to serve his sentence. He was released in January 1970.


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