Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Soviet Union
|Psychiatry in Russia and the USSR|
Political abuse (Russia)
In the twentieth century, systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place in the Soviet Union. During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political opponents ("dissidents") who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted official dogma. The term "philosophical intoxication" was widely used to diagnose mental disorders in cases where people disagreed with leaders and criticized them using the writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. The process of psychiatric incarceration was instigated by attempts to emigrate; distribution or possession of prohibited documents or books; participation in civil rights actions and demonstrations, and involvement in forbidden religious activity. Religious faith was determined to be a form of mental illness that needed to be cured. Formerly highly classified government documents published after the dissolution of the Soviet Union demonstrate that the authorities used psychiatry as a tool to suppress dissent.
According to the Commentary on the Russian Federation Law on Psychiatric Care, persons who were subjected to repressions in the form of commitment for compulsory treatment to psychiatric medical institutions and were rehabilitated in accordance with the established procedure receive indemnity payment. The Russian Federation acknowledged that psychiatry was used for political purposes and took responsibility for the victims of "political psychiatry."
Following the fall of the Soviet Union, it was often reported that some opposition activists and journalists were detained in Russian psychiatric institutions to intimidate and isolate them from society. In modern Russia, human rights activists also face the threat of psychiatric diagnosis as a means of political repression.
- 1 Background
- 2 Joint Session
- 3 Sluggish schizophrenia
- 4 Political trend toward mass abuse onset
- 5 Examination and hospitalization
- 6 Cases
- 6.1 Sergei Pisarev
- 6.2 Pyotr Grigorenko
- 6.3 Viktor Rafalsky
- 6.4 Joseph Brodsky
- 6.5 Valery Tarsis
- 6.6 Evgeni Belov
- 6.7 Alexander Esenin-Volpin
- 6.8 Yuli Daniel
- 6.9 Viktor Fainberg
- 6.10 AGDHR members
- 6.11 Valeriya Novodvorskaya
- 6.12 Natalya Gorbanevskaya
- 6.13 Zhores Medvedev
- 6.14 Andrei Sakharov
- 6.15 Viktor Nekipelov
- 6.16 AFTU members
- 6.17 SMOT members
- 7 Classification of the victims
- 8 Figures
- 9 Struggle against abuse
- 10 Study of the issue
- 11 Analysis
- 12 Residual problems
- 13 Documents and memoirs
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 Sources
- 17 Further reading
|Repression in the Soviet Union|
|Political repression • Economic repression • Ideological repression|
|Red Terror • Collectivization • Great Purge • Population transfer • Gulag • Holodomor • Political abuse of psychiatry|
|Religion • Suppressed research • Censorship • Censorship of images|
Political abuse of psychiatry is the misuse of psychiatric diagnosis, detention and treatment for the purposes of obstructing the fundamental human rights of certain groups and individuals in a society. It entails the exculpation and committal of citizens to psychiatric facilities based upon political rather than mental health-based criteria. Many authors, including psychiatrists, also use the terms "Soviet political psychiatry" or "punitive psychiatry" to refer to this phenomenon.
In the book Punitive Medicine by Alexander Podrabinek, the term "punitive medicine", which is identified with "punitive psychiatry," is defined as "a tool in the struggle against dissidents who cannot be punished by legal means." Punitive psychiatry is neither a discrete subject nor a psychiatric specialty but, rather, it is a disciplinary function arising within many applied sciences in totalitarian countries where members of a profession may feel themselves compelled to service the diktats of power. Psychiatric confinement of sane people is uniformly considered a particularly pernicious form of repression and Soviet punitive psychiatry was one of the key weapons of both illegal and legal repression.
As Vladimir Bukovsky and Semyon Gluzman wrote in their joint A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissenters, "the Soviet use of psychiatry as a punitive means is based upon the deliberate interpretation of dissent… as a psychiatric problem."
Psychiatry possesses an inherent capacity for abuse that is greater than in other areas of medicine. The diagnosis of mental disease can give the state license to detain persons against their will and insist upon therapy both in the interest of the detainee and in the broader interests of society. In addition, receiving a psychiatric diagnosis can in itself be regarded as oppressive. In a monolithic state, psychiatry can be used to bypass standard legal procedures for establishing guilt or innocence and allow political incarceration without the ordinary odium attaching to such political trials. In the period from the 1960-s to 1986, the abuse of psychiatry for political purposes was reported to have been systematic in the Soviet Union and episodic in other Eastern European countries such as Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The practice of incarceration of political dissidents in mental hospitals in Eastern Europe and the former USSR damaged the credibility of psychiatric practice in these states and entailed strong condemnation from the international community. Psychiatrists have been involved in human rights abuses in states across the world when the definitions of mental disease were expanded to include political disobedience. As scholars have long argued, governmental and medical institutions have at times coded threats to authority as mental disease during periods of political disturbance and instability. Nowadays, in many countries, political prisoners are still sometimes confined and abused in mental institutions.
In the Soviet Union dissidents were often confined in the so-called psikhushka, or psychiatric wards. Psikhushka is the Russian ironic diminutive for "mental hospital". One of the first psikhushkas was the Psychiatric Prison Hospital in the city of Kazan. In 1939 it was transferred to the control of the NKVD, the secret police and the precursor organization to the KGB, under the order of Lavrentiy Beria, who was the head of the NKVD. International human rights defenders such as Walter Reich have long recorded the methods by which Soviet psychiatrists in Psikhushka hospitals diagnosed schizophrenia in political dissenters. Western scholars examined no aspect of Soviet psychiatry as thoroughly as its involvement in the social control of political dissenters.
As early as 1948, the Soviet secret service took an interest in this area of medicine. It was one of the superiors of the Soviet secret police, Andrey Vyshinsky, who first ordered the use of psychiatry as a tool of repression. Russian psychiatrist Pyotr Gannushkin also believed that in a class society, especially during the most severe class struggle, psychiatry was incapable of not being repressive. A system of political abuse of psychiatry was developed at the end of Joseph Stalin's regime. However, according to Alexander Etkind, punitive psychiatry was not simply an inheritance from the Stalin era as the GULAG (the acronym for Chief Administration for Corrective Labor Camps, the penitentiary system in the Stalin years) was an effective instrument of political repression and there was no compelling requirement to develop an alternative and expensive psychiatric substitute. The abuse of psychiatry was a natural product of the later Soviet era. From the mid-1970s to the 1990s, the structure of mental health service conformed to the double standard in society, that of two separate systems which peacefully co-existed despite conflicts between them:
- the first system was punitive psychiatry that straight served the institute of power and was led by the Moscow Institute for Forensic Psychiatry named after Vladimir Serbsky;
- the second system was composed of elite, psychotherapeutically oriented clinics and was led by the Leningrad Psychoneurological Institute named after Vladimir Bekhterev.
The hundreds of hospitals in the provinces combined components of both systems.
A precursor of later abuses in psychiatry in the Soviet Union was the so-called "Joint Session" of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences and the Board of the All-Union Neurologic and Psychiatric Association in October 1951. Held in the name of Ivan Pavlov it considered the status of several leading neuroscientists and psychiatrists of the time, including Grunya Sukhareva, Vasily Gilyarovsky, Raisa Golant, Aleksandr Shmaryan, and Mikhail Gurevich, who were charged with practicing "anti-Pavlovian, anti-Marxist, idealistic [and] reactionary" science that was damaging to Soviet psychiatry. During the Joint Session these eminent psychiatrists, motivated by fear, had to publicly admit that their scientific positions were in error and they also had to promise to conform Pavlovian doctrines. However, these public declarations of obedience proved insufficient as in the closing speech of the congress, the lead author of the event's policy report, Andrei Snezhnevsky stated that they "have not disarmed themselves and continue to remain in the old anti-Pavlovian positions", thereby causing "grave damage to the Soviet scientific and practical psychiatry". The vice president of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences accused them of "diligently fall[ing] down to the dirty source of American pseudo-science". The congressional members who articulated these accusations, among them Irina Strelchuk, Vasily Banshchikov, Oleg Kerbikov, and Andrei Snezhnevsky, were characterized by careerist ambition and fears for their own positions. Not surprisingly, many of them were advanced and appointed to leadership positions shortly after the session.
The Joint Session also had a negative impact on several leading Soviet academic neuroscientists, such as Pyotr Anokhin, Aleksey Speransky, Lina Stern, Ivan Beritashvili, and Leon Orbeli. They were labeled as anti-Pavlovians, anti-materialists and reactionaries and subsequently they were dismissed from their positions. In addition to losing their laboratories some of these scientists were subjected to torture in prison. The Moscow, Leningrad, Ukrainian, Georgian, and Armenian schools of neuroscience and neurophysiology were damaged for a period due to this loss of personnel. The Joint Session ravaged productive research in neurosciences and psychiatry for years to come. It was pseudoscience that took over.
After the joint session of the USSR Academy of Sciences and the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences on 28 June — 4 July 1950 and during the session of the Presidium of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Board of the All-Union Society of Neuropathologists and Psychiatrists on 11–15 October 1951, the leading role was given to Snezhnevky's school. The 1950 decision to give monopoly over psychiatry to the Pavlovian school of Snezhnevsky was one of the crucial factors in the rise of political psychiatry. The Soviet doctors, under the incentive of Snezhnevsky, devised a "Pavlovian theory of schizophrenia" and increasingly applied this diagnostic category to political dissidents.
"The incarceration of free thinking healthy people in madhouses is spiritual murder, it is a variation of the gas chamber, even more cruel; the torture of the people being killed is more malicious and more prolonged. Like the gas chambers, these crimes will never be forgotten and those involved in them will be condemned for all time during their life and after their death." (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
Psychiatric diagnoses such as the diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia" in political dissidents in the USSR were used for political purposes. It was the diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia" that was most prominently used in cases of dissidents. The leading critics implied that Snezhnevsky had designed the Soviet model of schizophrenia and this diagnosis to make political dissent into a mental disease. According Robert van Voren, the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR arose from the conception that people who opposed the Soviet regime were mentally sick since there was no other logical rationale why one would oppose the sociopolitical system considered the best in the world. The diagnosis "sluggish schizophrenia," a longstanding concept further developed by the Moscow School of Psychiatry and particularly by its chief Andrei Snezhnevsky, furnished a very handy framework for explaining this behavior. The weight of scholarly opinion holds that the psychiatrists who played the primary role in the development of this diagnostic concept were following directives from the Communist Party and the Soviet secret service, or KGB, and were well aware of the political uses to which it would be put. Nevertheless, for many Soviet psychiatrists "sluggish schizophrenia" appeared to be a logical explanation to apply to the behavior of critics of the regime who, in their opposition, seemed willing to jeopardize their happiness, family, and career for a reformist conviction or ideal that was so apparently divergent from the prevailing social and political orthodoxy.
A. Snezhnevsky, the most prominent theorist of Soviet psychiatry and director of the Institute of Psychiatry of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, developed a novel classification of mental disorders postulating an original set of diagnostic criteria. The Soviet model of schizophrenia is based on the hypothesis that a single fundamental characteristic, by which schizophrenia spectrum disorders are distinguished clinically, is their longitudinal course. The hypothesis implies that there are three main types of schizophrenia:
- the continuous type that is defined as unremitting, proceeding with either a rapid ("malignant") or a slow ("sluggish") progression and has a poor prognosis in both instances;
- the periodic, or recurrent type that is characterized by an acute attack followed by full remission with minimal progression, if any;
- the mixed, or shift-like, type ("schubweise" — in German "schub" means phase or attack), a mixture of continuous and periodic types that occurs periodically and is characterized by only partial remission.
A carefully crafted description of sluggish schizophrenia established that psychotic symptoms were non-essential for the diagnosis, but symptoms of psychopathy, hypochondria, depersonalization or anxiety were central to it. Symptoms referred to as part of the "negative axis" included pessimism, poor social adaptation, and conflict with authorities, and were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia with scanty symptoms." According to Snezhnevsky, patients with sluggish schizophrenia could present as quasi sane yet manifest minimal but clinically relevant personality changes which could remain unnoticed to the untrained eye. Thereby patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, or even persons who were not mentally sick, could be easily labelled with the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia. Along with paranoia, sluggish schizophrenia was the diagnosis most frequently used for the psychiatric incarceration of dissenters. As per the theories of Snezhnevsky and his colleagues, schizophrenia was much more prevalent than previously considered since the illness could be presented with comparatively slight symptoms and only progress afterwards. As a consequence, schizophrenia was diagnosed much more often in Moscow than in cities of other countries, as the World Health Organization Pilot Study on Schizophrenia reported in 1973. In particular, the scope was widened by sluggish schizophrenia because according to Snezhnevsky and his colleagues, patients with this diagnosis were capable of functioning almost normally in the social sense. Their symptoms could be like those of a neurosis or could assume a paranoid character. The patients with paranoid symptoms retained some insight into their condition but overestimated their own significance and could manifest grandiose ideas of reforming society. Thereby, sluggish schizophrenia could have such symptoms as "reform delusions," "perseverance," and "struggle for the truth." As Vladimir Stayzhkin reported, Snezhnevsky diagnosed a reformation delusion for every case when a patient "develops a new principle of human knowledge, drafts an academy of human happiness, and many other projects for the benefit of mankind."
In the 1960s and 1970s, theories, which contained ideas about reforming society and struggling for truth, and religious convictions were not referred to delusional paranoid disorders in practically all foreign classifications, but Soviet psychiatry, proceeding from ideological conceptions, referred critique of the political system and proposals to reform this system to the delusional construct. Diagnostic approaches of conception of sluggish schizophrenia and paranoiac states with delusion of reformism were used only in the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries.
Someone of those present at a lecture by Georgi Morozov on forensic psychiatry in the Serbsky Institute once asked him a rather provocative question: "Tell us, Georgi Vasilevich, what is actually the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia?" Since the question was asked with an ironical smile, in the debate, Morozov replied, smiling ironically as well, "You know, dear colleagues, this is a very peculiar disease: there are not delusional disorders, there are not hallucinations, but there is schizophrenia!"
American psychiatrist Alan A. Stone stated that Western criticism of Soviet psychiatry aimed at Snezhnevsky personally, because he was essentially responsible for the Soviet concept of schizophrenia with a "sluggish type" manifestation by "reformerism" including other symptoms. One can readily apply this diagnostic scheme to dissenters. Snezhnevsky was long attacked in the West as an exemplar of psychiatric abuse in the USSR. He was charged with cynically developing a system of diagnosis which could be bent for political purposes, and he himself diagnosed or was involved in a series of famous dissident cases, including those of the biologist Zhores Medvedev, the mathematician Leonid Plyushch,and Vladimir Bukovsky whom Snezhnevsky diagnosed as schizophrenic on 5 July 1962. In 1980, the Special Committee on the Political Abuse of Psychiatry, established by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1978, charged Snezhnevsky with involvement in the abuse and recommended that Snezhnevsky, who had been honoured as a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, be invited to attend the College's Court of Electors to answer criticisms because he was responsible for the compulsory detention of this celebrated dissident, Leonid Plyushch. Instead Snezhnevsky chose to resign his Fellowship.
Because of this form of schizophrenia, Russia in the 1980s had three times as many schizophrenic patients per capita as the USA, two times as many schizophrenic patients as West Germany, Austria and Japan. There were not so many schizophrenic patients in any other country (of Western ones).
Political trend toward mass abuse onset
The campaign to declare political opponents mentally sick and to commit dissenters to mental hospitals began in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As Vladimir Bukovsky, commenting on the nascency of the political abuse of psychiatry, wrote, Nikita Khrushchev reckoned that it was impossible for people in a socialist society to have anti-socialist consciousness, and whenever manifestations of dissidence could not be justified as a provocation of world imperialism or a legacy of the past, they were merely the product of mental disease. In his speech published in the state newspaper Pravda on 24 May 1959, Khrushchev said:
A crime is a deviation from generally recognized standards of behavior frequently caused by mental disorder. Can there be diseases, nervous disorders among certain people in a Communist society? Evidently yes. If that is so, then there will also be offences, which are characteristic of people with abnormal minds. Of those who might start calling for opposition to Communism on this basis, we can say that clearly their mental state is not normal.
According to Robert van Voren, systematic abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union was a state policy, which Yuri Andropov developed when he had been heading the KGB since 1967. He became the KGB Chairman in May 1967. On 3 July 1967, he made a proposal to establish for dealing with the political opposition the KGB’s Fifth Directorate (ideological counterintelligence). At the end of July, the directorate was established and entered in its files cases of all Soviet dissidents including Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In 1968, Andropov as the KGB Chairman issued his order "On the tasks of State security agencies in combating the ideological sabotage by the adversary", calling for struggle against dissidents and their imperialist masters. He aimed to achieve "the destruction of dissent in all its forms" and insisted that the struggle for human rights had to be considered as a part of a wide-ranging imperialist plot to undermine the Soviet state’s foundation.
On 29 April 1969, Andropov submitted to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union an elaborated plan for creating a network of mental hospitals to defend the "Soviet Government and socialist order" from dissenters. The proposal by Andropov to use psychiatry for struggle against dissenters was implemented. On 15 May 1969, there was issued Decree No. 345–209 on "measures for preventing dangerous behavior (acts) on the part of mentally ill persons." This Decree ratified the practice of having undesirables hauled into detention by psychiatrists. Under this practice, the psychiatrists were told whom they should examine, and they might fetch this individual with the assistance of the police or entrap him to come to the hospital. The psychiatrists doubled as interrogators and as arresting officers. The doctors fabricated a diagnosis requiring internment, and no court judgment was required for confining the individual indefinitely.
By the end of the 1950s, the most commonly used method of punishing leaders of the political opposition became psychiatric commitment. In 1960s and 1970s, the trials of dissenters and their referral for "treatment" to special psychiatric hospitals of the system of MVD came out into the open before the world public, and information of "psychiatric terror," which the leadership of the institute was flatly denying, began to appear. The majority of psychiatric repressions date from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
Examination and hospitalization
Political dissidents were usually charged under article 70 (agitation and propaganda against the Soviet state) and 190-1 (dissemination of false fabrications defaming the Soviet state and social system) of the Criminal Code. Forensic psychiatrists were asked to examine those transgressors whose mental state the investigating officers had considered abnormal.
Practically in all cases, dissidents were examined in the Serbsky Central Research Institute for Forensic Psychiatry which conducted forensic-psychiatric expert evaluation of persons brought to justice under political articles. Certified, the persons were sent for involuntary treatment to special hospitals of the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
The accused had no right of appeal. The right was given to their relatives or other interested persons but they were not allowed to nominate psychiatrists to take part in the evaluation, because all psychiatrists were considered fully independent and equally credible before the law.
According to dissident poet Naum Korzhavin, the atmosphere at the Serbsky Institute in Moscow altered almost overnight when a Daniil Lunts became chief of the Fourth Department otherwise known as the Political Department. Previously, psychiatric departments had been regarded as a 'refuge' against being dispatched to the Gulag, but thenceforth that policy altered. The first reports of dissenters being hospitalized on non-medical grounds date from the early 1960s, not long after Georgi Morozov was appointed director of the Serbsky Institute. Both Morozov and Lunts were personally involved in numerous well-known cases and were notorious abusers of psychiatry for political purposes. Daniil Lunts was characterized by Viktor Nekipelov as "no better than the criminal doctors who performed inhuman experiments on the prisoners in Nazi concentration camps."
Cases of political abuse of psychiatry have been known since the 1940s and 1950s, including the case of Sergei Pisarev, a party official who was arrested after criticizing the work of the Soviet secret police in the context of the so-called Doctors' Plot, an anti-Semitic campaign propelled at Stalin's instructions which should have brought about a new terror wave in the Soviet Union and possibly the extermination of the remaining Jewish communes that had outlived the Second World War. Pisarev was committed to the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Leningrad which along with an analogous hospital in Sychevka has started functioning since the Second World War. After his discharge, Pisarev began a campaign against political abuse of psychiatry, concentrating himself on the Serbsky Institute which he viewed to be the seat of the trouble. As a consequence of his efforts, the Central Committee of the Communist Party constituted a committee which investigated the situation and came to the conclusion that the political abuse of psychiatry was actually taking place. The report, however, vanished in a desk drawer and never brought about any action taken.
In 1961, Pyotr Grigorenko started to openly criticize what he considered the excesses of the Khrushchev regime. He maintained that the special privileges of the political elite did not comply with the principles laid down by Lenin. Grigorenko formed a dissident group — The Group for the Struggle to Revive Leninism. Soviet psychiatrists sitting as legally constituted commissions to inquire into his sanity diagnosed him at least three times — in April 1964, August 1969, and November 1969. When arrested, Grigorenko was sent to Moscow's Lubyanka prison, and from there for psychiatric examination to the Serbsky Institute where the first commission, which included Snezhnevsky and Lunts, diagnosed him as suffering from the mental disease in the form of a paranoid delusional development of his personality, accompanied by early signs of cerebral arteriosclerosis. Lunts, reporting later on this diagnosis, mentioned that the symptoms of paranoid development were "an overestimation of his own personality reaching messianic proportions" and "reformist ideas." Grigorenko was irresponsible for his actions and was thereby forcibly committed to a special psychiatric hospital. While there, the government deprived him of his pension despite the fact that, by law, a mentally sick military officer was entitled to a pension. After six months, Grigorenko was found to be in remission and was released for outpatient follow-up. He required that his pension be restored. Although he began to draw pension again, it was severely cut. He became much more active in his dissidence, stirred other people to protest some of the State's actions and received several warnings from the KGB. As Grigorenko had followers in Moscow, he was lured to Tashkent, half a continent away. Again he was arrested and examined by psychiatric team. None of the manifestations or symptoms cited by the Lunts commission were found by the second commission held in Tashkent under the chairmanship of Fyodor Detengof. The diagnosis and evaluation made by the commission was that "Grigorenko's [criminal] activity had a purposeful character, it was related to concrete events and facts... It did not reveal any signs of illness or delusions." The psychiatrists reported that he was not mentally sick, but responsible for his actions. He had firm convictions which were shared by many of his colleagues and were not delusional. Having evaluated the records of his preceding hospitalization, they concluded that he had not been sick at that time either. The KGB brought Grigorenko back in Moscow and, three months later, arranged a second examination at the Serbsky Institute. Once again, these psychiatrists found that he had "a paranoid development of the personality" manifested by reformist ideas. The commission, which included Lunts and was chaired by Morozov, recommended that he be recommitted to a special psychiatric hospital for the socially dangerous. Eventually, after almost four years, he was transferred to a usual mental hospital.
In 1979 in New York, Grigorenko was examined by the team of psychologists and psychiatrists including Alan A. Stone, the then President of American Psychiatric Association. The team came to conclusion that they could find no evidence of mental disease in Grigorenko and his history consistent with mental disease in the past. In 1981, Pyotr Grigorenko told about his psychiatric examinations and hospitalizations in his memoirs V Podpolye Mozhno Vstretit Tolko Krys (In The Underground One Can Meet Only Rats) translated into English under the title Memoirs in 1982. Only in 1992, the official post-mortem forensic psychiatric commission of experts met at Grigorenko’s homeland removed the stigma of mental patient from him and confirmed that the debilitating treatment he underwent in high security psychiatric hospitals for many years was groundless. The 1992 psychiatric examination of Grigorenko was described by the Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal in its numbers 1–4 of 1992.
Viktor Rafalsky, a political prisoner, dissident and author of unpublished plays, novels, and short stories, was committed to Soviet psychiatric prisons in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Leningrad for 24 years because of belonging to a clandestine Marxist group (from 1954 to 1959), writing anti-Soviet prose (from 1962 to 1965), and possessing anti-Soviet literature (from 1968 to 1983). In the winter of 1987, he was discharged and pronounced sane. In 1988, Viktor Rafalsky published the first version of his memoirs Reportazh iz Niotkuda (Reportage from Nowhere) describing his confinement in Soviet psychiatric hospitals.
At the very end of 1963, the poet Joseph Brodsky was committed for observation to the Kashchenko psychiatric clinic in Moscow where he stayed for several days. A few weeks later, his second hospitalization took place: on 13 February he was arrested in Leningrad. Brought to trial for "pursuing a parasitic way of life", Brodsky was accused of being a poet and of not doing more "productive" work. There were two hearings of the trial dated 18 February and 13 March 1964. The judge ordered to send him "for an official psychiatric examination during which it will be determined whether Brodsky is suffering from some sort of psychological illness or not and whether this illness will prevent Brodsky from being sent to a distant locality for forced labor. Taking into consideration that from the history of his illness it is apparent that Brodsky has evaded hospitalization, it is hereby ordered that division No. 18 of the militia be in charge of bringing him to the official psychiatric examination." On 18 February, the Dzerzhinsky District Court sent Brodsky for psychiatric examination to "Pryazhka," Psychiatric Hospital No. 2 where he spent about three weeks, from 18 February to 13 March. In the mental hospitals, Brodsky was given "tranquilizing" injections, wakened in the middle of the night, immersed into a cold bath, wrapped in a wet sheet, and put next to the heater so that the sheet would cut into his body when it dried. These two stints at psychiatric establishments formed the experience underlying Gorbunov and Gorchakov written and called by Brodsky "an extremely serious work." In 1972, when the authorities considered Brodsky for exile and sought an expert opinion on his mental health, they consulted Snezhnevsky who, without examining him personally, diagnosed him as schizophrenic and concluded that he was "not valuable person at all and may be let go."
In 1965 in the West, strong public awareness that Soviet psychiatry could be subject to political abuse arose with publication of the book Ward 7 by Valery Tarsis, a writer born in 1906 in Kiev. He based the book upon his own experiences in 1963–1964 when he was detained in the Moscow Kashchenko psychiatric hospital for political reasons.
The fictionalised documentary Ward No. 7 by Tarsis was a first literary work to deal with the Soviet authorities' abuse of psychiatry. In a parallel with the story Ward No. 6 by Anton Chekhov, Tarsis implies that it is the doctors who are mad, whereas the patients are completely sane, although unsuited to a life of slavery. Individuals in ward No. 7 are not cured, but persistently maimed; the hospital is a jail and the doctors are gaolers and police spies. Most doctors know nothing about psychiatry, but make diagnoses arbitrarily and give all patients the same medication — an algogenic injection or the anti-psychotic drug aminazin known in English as Thorazine. Tarsis denounces Soviet psychiatry as pseudo-science and charlatanism and writes that, firstly, it has pretenses of curing the sickness of men's souls, but denies the existence of the soul; secondly, since there is no satisfactory definition of mental health, there can be no acceptable definition of mental disease in Soviet society.
In 1966, Tarsis was permitted to emigrate to the West, and was soon deprived of his Soviet citizenship. As the 1966 memorandum to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union reported, "KGB continues arrangements for further compromising Tarsis abroad as a mentally ill person."
Shortly after publishing Ward 7, a second case of political abuse of psychiatry gave rise to attention in Great Britain. Evgeni Belov, a young Moscow interpreter contracted by a group of four British students, made friends with them. At first he was positive about Soviet system, but gradually became more critical and began to voice demand for more freedom. Calling for a free press and free trade unions, Belov began to write letters to the Party. As a consequence, his membership in the Party was suspended and he was summoned to appear before a committee. He declined, and instead sought justice higher up by writing protest letters to Leonid Brezhnev himself. When British students returned from a short trip to Tokyo, Belov had vanished. To their shock, it emerged that he had been committed to a mental hospital. A campaign to get him out yielded no results. A British newspaper published a letter in which Belov's father stated that his son was really sick, and the campaign came to a grinding halt. However, the public interest had been activated.
Awareness in the West was also raised by the case of Alexander Esenin-Volpin, a son of the famous Russian poet Sergei Esenin and born in 1924. In 1946, he was first committed to the Leningrad Special Psychiatric Hospital for writing a poem considered anti-Soviet. During Khrushchev's reign, Esenin-Volpin was later hospitalized three times: in 1957, in 1959–1960 in the same the Leningrad Special Psychiatric Hospital and, finally, in 1962–1963. In 1968, Esenin-Volpin was again hospitalized, and for this once his case achieved the attention in the West. In February 1968, 99 Soviet mathematicians and scientists signed a protest letter to the Soviet officials demanding his release. After a wave of protests, he was discharged and permitted to immigrate to the USA where he obtained the position of professor of mathematics. In 2010, Alexander Magalif, who hospitalized Esenin-Volpin, recollected that he had seen a little mark made by a pencil in the corner of the referral to treatment of Esenin-Volpin: "not to discharge from the hospital without coordination with KGB."
In 1965, the writer Yuli Daniel was arrested due to his satirical anti-Stalinist works and outspoken protest at the human rights abuse in the USSR. Daniel was kept in a mental hospital of the Gulag where he was refused medical treatment in order to destroy his will.
Viktor Fainberg was one of the seven participants of the 1968 Red Square demonstration against the Soviet intervention into Czechoslovakia. He was committed for compulsory treatment to the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Leningrad where he was confined for five years. During his confinement, a psychiatrist working in the establishment, Marina Voikhanskaya, fell in love with him and helped him as much as she could. After his discharge, they married and emigrated to the United Kingdom. When they had divorced, Viktor moved to Paris and Marina remained in the United Kingdom.
In 1968, the human rights movement in the USSR focused directly on Soviet political psychiatry, organizing public protests and writing international bodies. In 1969, a group of about 14 activists including Sergei Kovalyov, a future Russian human rights ombudsman, constituted the Action Group for the Defence of Human Rights in the USSR. The group composed a first samizdat (self-published) human rights bulletin, the Chronicle of Current Events. Among the members of the Action Group were individuals who subsequently fell victim to psychiatric abuse themselves: the poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya who in 1968 demonstrated on Red Square against bringing Soviet tanks into Czechoslovakia; Vladimir Borisov who later was one of the founders of the independent labor movement in the Soviet Union; Vladimir Maltsev, a translator; and Leonid Plyushch, a Ukrainian cyberneticist who was committed to the Special Psychiatric Hospital of Dnepropetrovsk and was awfully tortured with neuroleptics. Later three senior Fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatrists examined Leonid Plyushch and "saw no indication of schizophrenia or other mental illness."
In 1968, Valeriya Novodvorskaya created an underground student organization whose purpose was to overthrow the Soviet state. On 5 December 1969, she was arrested in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, where before the start of a performance of the opera October she was handing out and scattering leaflets written in verse form until she was approached by KGB men. She was later sentenced to indefinite detention in the prison psychiatric hospital in Kazan. Her experience in this hospital was described in her largest collection of writings entitled Po Tu Storonu Otchayaniya (Beyond Despair). Novodvorskaya was also committed in mental hospital later, in 1978 as a member of the Free Interprofessional Association of Workers and in September 1990 as a person responsible "for insulting President"; at that time she was discharged after the 1991 putsch. In the early 1990s, psychiatrists of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia and G. N. Sotsevich proved the absence of mental illness in Novodvorskaya.
After the 1968 Red Square demonstration against the Soviet invasion into Czechoslovakia, August 1968 saw the arrest of Natalya Gorbanevskaya well known in the West due to her book Red Square at Noon describing the demonstration. A few days later, the Serbsky Institute found her non-accountable and made diagnosis of "deep psychopathy—the presence of mild, chronic schizophrenic process cannot be excluded." She was allowed to return to the care of her mother. In November 1969, a psychiatric commission again examined her, diagnosed "psychopathic personality with symptoms of hysteria and a tendency to decompensation", but considered that psychiatric hospitalization was not required. A month later, she was again arrested and sent to the Serbky Institute for psychiatric examination in April 1970. The investigating commission chaired by Morozov found her non-responsible and suffering from "chronic, mental illness in the form of schizophrenia." The commission found in her the presence of changes in the thinking processes and in the critical and emotional faculties characteristic of schizophrenia. It was concluded that Gorbanevskaya took part in the Red Square demonstration in a state of the mental disease. In Paris, French psychiatrists at their request examined Gorbanevskaya and found her to be mentally normal. They concluded that in 1969–1972 she had been committed to a psychiatric hospital for political, not medical reasons.
On 29 May 1970, Zhores Medvedev, an internationally respected and prominent scientist, was forcibly taken from his apartment in Obninsk and committed to a mental hospital where he was held, without legitimate medical justification, until 17 June 1970. The leadership was instantly faced with the action of strong collective protest initiated by top Soviet scientists including Igor Tamm and Pyotr Kapitsa. Medvedev's release was achieved only after intense pressure from intellectuals and scientists both within and outside of the USSR. He was largely hospitalized because of the publication abroad of his book of Trofim Lysenko. In widely circulated books, Zhores Medvedev had criticized the "geneticist" Lysenko and had also expressed his straightforward disagreement with restrictions on communication with scientists abroad. He was removed from his position as head of a laboratory at the Institute of Medical Radiology and this removal was illegal, he said. The diagnosis in the case-notes was "incipient schizophrenia," the diagnosis made by the psychiatric commission was "psychopathic personality with paranoid tendencies." What happened to Medvedev was not a separate incident; rather, it was part, in Medvedev's words, of "the dangerous tendency of using psychiatry for political purposes, the exploitation of medicine in an alien role as a means of intimidation and punishment — a new and illegal way of isolating people for their views and convictions." This experience was reflected in Zhores Medvedev's and Roy Medvedev's book A Question of Madness: Repression by Psychiatry in the Soviet Union published by Macmillan in London in 1971.
In 1971, renowned Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov supported a protest of two political prisoners, V. Fainberg and V. Borisov, who announced a hunger strike against "compulsory therapeutic treatment with medications injurious to mental activity" in a Leningrad psychiatric institution. In 1984, after publishing an article by Andrei Sakharov in the United States urging a buildup of nuclear weapons in the West, Soviet officials declared him "a talented, but sick man." When sent into internal exile to Gorky "for his own peace of mind," he received the due medical attention: "Soviet medics are taking all necessary measures to restore his health."
Viktor Nekipelov, a well-known dissident poet, was arrested in 1973, sent to the Section 4 of the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry for psychiatric evaluation, which lasted from 15 January to 12 March 1974, was judged sane (which he was), tried, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. In 1976, he published in samizdat his book Institute of Fools: Notes on the Serbsky Institute based on his personal experience at Psychiatric Hospital of the Serbsky Institute and translated into English in 1980. In this account, he wrote compassionately, engagingly, and observantly of the doctors and other patients; most of the latters were ordinary criminals feigning insanity in order to be sent to a mental hospital, because hospital was a "cushy number" as against prison camps. According to the President of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia Yuri Savenko, Nekipelov's book is a highly dramatic humane document, a fair story about the nest of Soviet punitive psychiatry, a mirror that psychiatrists always need to look into. However according to Malcolm Lader, this book as an indictment of the Serbsky Institute hardly rises above tittle-tattle and gossip, and Nekipelov destroys his own credibility by presenting no real evidence but invariably putting the most sinister connotation on events. After publishing his book, he was sentenced to the maximum punishment for "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" of seven years in a labor camp and then five years in internal exile.
In November 1977, a group of unemployed and workers led by Vladimir Klebanov, a former coalminer from the Donbas region of the Ukraine, announced the formation in the Soviet Union of the Association of Free Trade Unions of Workers (AFTU) whose purposes were to meet obligations achieved by collective bargaining; to induce workers and other employees to join free trade union associations; to implement those decisions of the Association which concern the seeking of justice and the defense of rights; to educate Association members in the spirit of irreconcilability toward wastefulness, inefficiency, deception, bureaucracy, deficiencies, and a negligent attitude toward national wealth. These purposes show that AFTU was in all respects an organization whose right to exist is guaranteed by the international obligations of the Soviet Union. On 19 December 1977, Klebanov along with two other workers in Donetsk was arrested by the Soviet militia and released nine days later, after international protests against his incarceration. Worker Gavriil Yankov was incarcerated in Moscow mental hospital for two weeks. On 1 February 1978, AFTU publicly announced the institution of its organizational Charter. Several days later, Klebanov was again detained by Soviet police and sent from Moscow to psychiatric prison hospital in Donetsk. Group member Nikolaev and workers Pelekh and Dvoretsky were also placed under psychiatric detention.
By October 1978 it was apparent that arrests and repressions had resulted in the dissolution of AFTU. But the cause of trade union rights was to be invigorated by a new group, the Free Interprofessional Association of Workers known by its Russian acronym, SMOT, whose first press conference was held in Moscow on 28 October 1978. The objectives of SMOT were to defend its members in cases of violation of their rights in different spheres of their daily activities: political, domestic, religious, spiritual, cultural, social, and economic; to look into the legal basis of the workers' complaints; to ensure that these complains were brought to the notice of relevant organizations; to facilitate a quick solution to complaints of workers; and in cases of negative results, to publicize them widely before international and Soviet public. The leadership of SMOT was headed by a native of Leningrad electrician Vladimir Borisov incarcerated in Soviet mental hospitals because of his human rights activism for a total of nine years in 1960s and 1970s. In November and December 1978, Soviet police searched the homes of SMOT activists, and SMOT members Vladimir Borisov, Valeriya Novodvorskaya, Albina Yakoreva, and Lev Volokhonsky were arrested and detained by Soviet authorities. Both Borisov and Novodvorskaya were held in mental hospitals.
Classification of the victims
Upon analysis of over 200 well-authenticated cases covering the period 1962–1976, Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway developed a classification of the victims of Soviet psychiatric abuse. They were classified as:
- advocates of human rights or democratization;
- would-be emigrants;
- religious believers;
- citizens inconvenient to the authorities.
The advocates of human rights and democratization, according to Bloch and Reddaway, made up about half the dissidents repressed by means of psychiatry. Nationalists made up about one-tenth of the dissident population dealt with psychiatrically.  Would-be emigrants comprised about one-fifth of dissidents victimized by means of psychiatry. People, detained only because of their religious activity, made up about fifteen per cent of dissident-patients. Citizens inconvenient to the authorities because of their “obdurate” complaints about bureaucratic excesses and abuses accounted for about five per cent of dissidents subject to psychiatric abuse.
At least 365 people were treated for "politically defined madness" in the Soviet Union, and there were surely hundreds more. On basis of the available data and materials accumulated in the archives of the International Association on the Political Use of Psychiatry, one can confidently conclude that thousands of dissenters were hospitalized for political reasons. From 1994 to 1995, an investigative commission of Moscow psychiatrists explored the records of five prison psychiatric hospitals in Russia and discovered about two thousand cases of political abuse of psychiatry in these hospitals alone. In 2005, Anatoly Prokopenko, referring to the Document Fund of the Central Committee of CPSU and the prison records of the three hospitals — Sychyovskaya, Leningrad and Chernyakhovsk hospitals — to which human rights activists managed to get in 1991, drew the conclusion that psychiatry had punished about twenty thousand people for purely political reasons. But this is only a little part, Prokopenko said, and the data on how many people in total had been in all of sixteen prison hospitals and in one and a half thousand open type psychiatric hospitals are inaccessible to us because the secret parts of the achieves of the prison psychiatric hospitals and hospitals overall are inaccessible. The figure of fifteen or twenty thousand political prisoners in psychiatric hospitals of the MVD of the USSR was presented in the book Bezumnaya Psikhiatriya (Mad Psychiatry) published by Prokopenko in 1997.
According to Viktor Luneyev, actual struggle against dissent was manyfold larger than it was registered in sentences, and we do not know how many persons were kept under surveillance of secret services, held criminally liable, arrested, sent to psychiatric hospitals, expelled from their work, restricted in their rights everyway. No objective counting of repressed persons is possible without fundamental analysis of archival documents. The difficulty of this method is that the required data are very diverse and are not in one archive. They are in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, in the archive of the Goskomstat of Russia, in the archives of the MVD of Russia, the FSB of Russia, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, in the Russian Military and Historical Archive, in archives of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, in urban and regional archives, as well as in archives of the former Soviet Republics that now are independent countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltics.
According to Russian psychiatrist Emmanuil Gushansky, archives of MVD, the USSR Health Ministry, the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry that store evidences of psychiatric expansion and regulations, on which this expansion was founded, still remain closed as a grave. The scale of psychiatric abuses in the past, the use of psychiatric doctrines by the totalitarian state are thoroughly concealed.
The scale of the application of methods of repressive psychiatry in the USSR is testified by inexorable figures and facts. The work by the commission of the top party leadership headed by Alexei Kosygin in 1978 resulted in the decision to build 80 psychiatric hospitals and 8 special ones in addition to existing ones. Their construction was to be completed by 1990. They were being built in Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Kemerovo, Kuibyshev, Novosibirsk, and other parts of the Soviet Union. In the course of the changes the country underwent in 1988, 5 prison hospitals were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health from the MVD system, and other 5 ones were shut down. Hurried covering of tracks began through mass rehabilitation of patients, a part of them was mentally crippled (only in the same year 800,000 patients were removed from the psychiatric register). Only in Leningrad 60,000 people were rehabilitated in 1991 and 1992. In 1978, 4.5 million people through the country were on the psychiatric register. Its scale was equal to the population of many civilized countries.
Struggle against abuse
In the 1960s, a vigorous movement grew up protesting against abuse of psychiatry in the USSR. Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union was denounced in the course of the Congresses of the World Psychiatric Association in Mexico City (1971), Hawaii (1977), Vienna (1983) and Athens (1989).
Study of the issue
In Ukraine, a study of the origins of the political abuse of psychiatry was conducted for five years on the basis of the state archives. A total of 60 people were again surveyed. All they were citizens of Ukraine, convicted of political crimes and hospitalized on the territory of Ukraine. As it turned out, none of them was in need of any psychiatric treatment.
In 1990, Psychiatric Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists published the article "Compulsion in psychiatry: blessing or curse?" by Russian psychiatrist Anatoly Koryagin. It contains analysis of the abuse of psychiatry and eight arguments by which the existence of a system of political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR cаn easily be demonstrated. As Koryagin wrote, in a dictatorial State with a totalitarian regime, such as the USSR, the laws have at all times served not the purpose of self-regulation of the life of society but have been one of the major levers by which to manipulate the behavior of subjects. Every Soviet citizen has constantly been straight considered state property and been regarded not as the aim, but as a means to achieve the rulers' objectives. From the perspective of state pragmatism, a mentally sick person was regarded as a burden to society, using up the state's material means without recompense and not producing anything, and even potentially capable of inflicting harm. Therefore, the Soviet State never considered it reasonable to pass special legislative acts protecting the material and legal part of the patients' life. It was only instructions of the legal and medical departments that stipulated certain rules of handling the mentally sick and imposing different sanctions on them. A person with a mental disorder was automatically divested of all rights and depended entirely on the psychiatrists' will. Practically anybody could undergo psychiatric examination on the most senseless grounds and the issued diagnosis turned him into a person without rights. It was this lack of legal rights and guarantees that advantaged a system of repressive psychiatry in the country.
According to O.V. Lapshin, Russia until 1993 did not have any specific legislation in the field of mental health except uncoordinated instructions and articles of laws in criminal and administrative law, orders of the USSR Ministry of Health. In the Soviet Union, any psychiatric patient could be hospitalized by request of his headman, relatives or instructions of a district psychiatrist. In this case, patient’s consent or dissent mattered nothing. The duration of treatment in a psychiatric hospital also depended entirely on the psychiatrist. All of that made the abuse of psychiatry possible to suppress those who opposed the political regime, and that created the vicious practice of ignoring the rights of the mentally ill.
- ideologizing of science, its breakaway from the achievements of world psychiatry;
- lack of legal basis;
- the total nationalization of mental health service.
Their interaction system is principally sociological: the presence of the Penal Code article on slandering the state system inevitably results in sending a certain percentage of citizens to forensic psychiatric examination. Thus, it is not psychiatry itself that is punitive, but the totalitarian state uses psychiatry for punitive purposes with ease.
According to Larry Gostin, the root cause of the problem was the State itself. The definition of danger was radically extended by the Soviet criminal system to cover 'political' as well as customary physical types of 'danger'.
According to Semyon Gluzman, abuse of psychiatry to suppress dissent is based on condition of psychiatry in a totalitarian state. Psychiatric paradigm of a totalitarian state is culpable for its expansion into spheres which are not initially those of psychiatric competence. Psychiatry as a social institution, formed and functioning in the totalitarian state, is incapable of not being totalitarian. Such psychiatry is forced to serve the two differently directed principles: care and treatment of mentally ill citizens, on the one hand, and psychiatric repression of people showing political or ideological dissent, on the other hand. In the conditions of the totalitarian state, independent-minded psychiatrists appeared and may again appear, but these few people cannot change the situation in which thousands of others, who were brought up on incorrect pseudoscientific concepts and fear of the state, will sincerely believe that the uninhibited, free thinking of a citizen is a symptom of madness.
Richard Bonnie, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Virginia School of Law, mentioned the deformed nature of the Soviet psychiatric profession as one of the explanations for why it was so easily bent toward the repressive objectives of the state, and pointed out the importance of a civil society and, in particular, independent professional organizations separate and apart from the state as one of the most substantial lessons from the period.
According to Moscow psychiatrist Alexander Danilin, the so-called "nosological" approach in the Moscow psychiatric school established by A.V. Snezhnevsky boiles down to the ability to make an only diagnosis, schizophrenia; psychiatry is not science but such a system of opinions and people by the thousands are falling victims to these opinions—millions of lives were crippled by virtue of the concept "sluggish schizophrenia" introduced some time once by Andrei Vladimirovich Snezhnevsky, academician, whom Danilin called a political offender.
St Petersburg academic psychiatrist Yuri Nuller notes that the concept of Snezhnevsky's school allows of, for example, considering schizoid psychopathy or schizoidism as the early, sluggishly progressing stages of an inevitable progredient process, rather than the personality characteristics of an individual which may not develop along the path of schizophrenic process at all. That results in the extreme expansion of diagnosing sluggish schizophrenia, with subsequent harm. Nuller adds that within the scope of the sluggish schizophrenia concept, any deviation from the norm evaluated by a doctor can be regarded as schizophrenia, with all the ensuing consequences for the examinee. That creates ample opportunity for voluntary and involuntary abuses of psychiatry. However, neither A.V. Snezhnevsky nor his followers, according to Nuller, found civil and scientific courage to review their concept that clearly reached a deadlock.
According to American psychiatrist Walter Reich, the misdiagnoses of dissidents resulted from some characteristics of Soviet psychiatry that were distortions of standard psychiatric logic, theory, and practice.
In 1977, British psychiatrist David Cooper asked Michel Foucault the same question which Claude Bourdet had formerly asked Viktor Fainberg during a press conference given by Fainberg and Plyushch: when the USSR has the whole penitentiary and police apparatus, which could take charge of anybody, and which is perfect in itself, why do they use psychiatry? Foucault answered it was not a question of a distortion of the use of psychiatry but that was its fundamental project. In the work Confinement, Psychiatry, Prison, Foucault states the cooperation of psychiatrists with the KGB in the Soviet Union was not abuse of medicine, but an evident case and "condensation" of psychiatry’s "inheritance", an "intensification, the ossification of a kinship structure that has never ceased to function." Foucault believed that the abuse of psychiatry in the USSR of the 1960s was a logical extension of the invasion of psychiatry into the legal system.
According to St Petersburg psychiatrist Vladimir Pshizov, with regard to punitive psychiatry, the nature of psychiatry is of such a sort that using psychiatrists against opponents of authorities is always tempting for the authorities, because it is seemingly possible not to take into account an opinion by the person who received a diagnosis.
As Ukrainian psychiatrist Ada Korotenko notes, the use of punitive psychiatry allowed of avoiding the judicial procedure during which the accused might declare the impossibility to speak publicly and the violation of their civil rights. Making a psychiatric diagnosis is insecure and can be based on a preconception. Moreover, while diagnosing mental illness, subjective fuzzy diagnostic criteria are involved as arguments. The lack of clear diagnostic criteria and clearly defined standards of diagnostics contributes to applying punitive psychiatry to vigorous and gifted citizens who disagree with authorities. At the same time, most psychiatrists incline to believe that such a misdiagnosis is less dangerous than not diagnosing mental illness.
K. Fulford, A. Smirnov, and E. Snow state: "An important vulnerability factor, therefore, for the abuse of psychiatry, is the subjective nature of the observations on which psychiatric diagnosis currently depends." According to American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, these authors, who correctly emphasize the value-laden nature of psychiatric diagnoses and the subjective character of psychiatric classifications, fail to accept the role of psychiatric power. Musicologists, drama critics, art historians, and many other scholars also create their own subjective classifications; however, lacking state-legitimated power over persons, their classifications do not lead to anyone’s being deprived of property, liberty, or life. For instance, plastic surgeon’s classification of beauty is subjective, but the plastic surgeon cannot treat his or her patient without the patient’s consent, therefore, there cannot be any political abuse of plastic surgery. The bedrock of political medicine is coercion masquerading as medical treatment. What transforms coercion into therapy are physicians diagnosing the person’s condition a "illness," declaring the intervention they impose on the victim a "treatment," and legislators and judges legitimating these categorizations as "illnesses" and "treatments." In the same way, physician-eugenicists advocated killing certain disabled or ill persons as a form of treatment for both society and patient long before the Nazis came to power. Szasz argued that the spectacle of the Western psychiatrists loudly condemning Soviet colleagues for their abuse of professional standards was largely an exercise in hypocrisy. According to Szasz, the problem, from which psychiatric abuse stems, is psychiatric power that is just as prevalent in democratic societies as it was in the USSR. He stated that psychiatric abuse, such as people usually associated with practices in the former USSR, was connected not with the misuse of psychiatric diagnoses, but with the political power built into the social role of the psychiatrist in democratic and totalitarian societies alike. In a 1994 article Szasz stated that "the classification by slave owners and slave traders of certain individuals as Negroes was scientific, in the sense that whites were rarely classified as blacks. But that did not prevent the 'abuse' of such racial classification, because (what we call) its abuse was, in fact, its use." The collaboration between psychiatry and government leads to what Szasz calls the "Therapeutic State", a system in which disapproved actions, thoughts, and emotions are repressed ("cured") through pseudomedical interventions. Thus suicide, unconventional religious beliefs, racial bigotry, unhappiness, anxiety, shyness, sexual promiscuity, shoplifting, gambling, overeating, smoking, and illegal drug use are all considered symptoms or illnesses that need to be cured. According to Szasz, "the therapeutic state swallows up everything human on the seemingly rational ground that nothing falls outside the province of health and medicine, just as the theological state had swallowed up everything human on the perfectly rational ground that nothing falls outside the province of God and religion."
Robert van Voren noted that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it became apparent that the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR was only the tip of the iceberg, the sign that much more was basically wrong. This much more realistic image of Soviet psychiatry showed up only after the Soviet regime began to loosen its grip on society and later lost control over the developments and in the end entirely disintegrated. It demonstrated that the actual situation was much sorer and that many individuals had been affected. Millions of individuals were treated and stigmatized by an outdated biologically oriented and hospital-based mental health service. Living conditions in clinics were bad, sometimes even terrible, and violations of human rights were rampant.
According to Robert van Voren, although for several years, especially after the implosion of the USSR and during the first years of Boris Yeltsin's rule, the positions of the Soviet psychiatric leaders were in jeopardy, now one can firmly conclude that they succeeded in riding out the storm and retaining their powerful positions. In addition, they also succeeded in avoiding an inflow of modern concepts of delivering mental health care and a fundamental change in the structure of psychiatric services in Russia. On the whole, in Russia, the impact of mental health reformers has been the least. Even the reform efforts made in such places as St. Petersburg, Tomsk, and Kaliningrad have faltered or were encapsulated as centrist policies under Vladimir Putin brought them back under control.
Throughout the post-communist period, the pharmaceutical industry has mainly been an obstacle to reform. Aiming to explore the vast market of the former USSR, they used the situation to make professionals and services totally dependent on their financial sustenance, turned the major attention to the availability of medicines rather than that of psycho-social rehabilitation services, and stimulated corruption within the mental health sector very much.
At the turn of the century, the psychiatric reform that had been implemented by Franco Basaglia in Italy became known and was publicly declared to be implemented in Russia, with the view of retrenchment of expenditures. But when it became clear that even more money was needed for the reform, it got bogged down in the same way the reform of the army and many other undertakings did. Despite the 1992 Russian Mental Health Law, coercive psychiatry in Russia remains generally unregulated and fashioned by the same trends toward hyperdiagnosis and overreliance on institutional care characteristic of the Soviet period.
According to St Petersburg psychiatrist Vladimir Pshizov, a disastrous factor for domestic psychiatry is that those who had committed "a crime against humanity" were allowed to stay on their positions until they can leave this world in a natural way.
At his press conference in 2008, Semyon Gluzman said that the surplus in Ukraine of hospitals for inpatient treatment of the mentally ill was a relic of the totalitarian communist regime and that Ukraine did not have epidemic of schizophrenia but somehow Ukraine had about 90 large psychiatric hospitals including the Pavlov Hospital where beds only in its children's unit were more than in the whole of Great Britain.
In 1994, there was organized a conference concerned with the theme of political abuse of psychiatry and attended by representatives from different former Soviet Republics — from Russia, Belarus, the Baltics, the Caucasus, and some of the Central Asian Republics. Dainius Puras made a report on the situation within the Lithuanian Psychiatric Association, where discussion had been held but no resolution had been passed. Yuri Nuller talked over how in Russia the wind direction was gradually changing and the systematic political abuse of psychiatry was again being denied and degraded as an issue of "hyperdiagnosis" or "scientific disagreement." It was particularly noteworthy that Tatyana Dmitrieva, the Director of the Serbsky Institute, was a proponent of such belittlement. This was not so queer, because she was a close friend of the key architects of "political psychiatry."
In the early 1990s, Tatyana Dmitrieva, the Director of the Serbsky Center, brought the required words of repentance for political abuse of psychiatry which had had unprecedented dimensions in the Soviet Union for discrediting, intimidation and suppression of the human rights movement carried out primarily in this institution. Her words were widely broadcast abroad but were limitedly published in the St. Petersburg newspaper Chas Pik within the country. However, in her 2001 book Aliyans Prava i Milosediya (The Alliance of Law and Mercy), Dmitrieva wrote that there were no abuses in psychiatry and if there were those, they were no more than in the vaunted Western countries. Moreover, the mentioned book by Dmitrieva administers to the old and new national intellectuals the rebuke that professor Vladimir Serbsky and others were wrong not to cooperate with the police department because otherwise there would have been neither revolution nor bloodshed and that the current intellectuals are wrong to oppose the authorities.
While speaking of the Serbsky Center, Yuri Savenko alleges that "practically nothing has changed. They have no shame at the institute about their role with the Communists. They are the same people, and they do not want to apologize for all their actions in the past." Attorney Karen Nersisyan agrees: "Serbsky is not an organ of medicine. It’s an organ of power."
Many of the current leaders of Russian psychiatry, especially those who were related to the establishment in Soviet period, have resiled from their avowal read at the 1989 General Assembly of the WPA that Soviet psychiatry had been systematically abused for political purposes. Among such leaders who did so is Aleksandr Tiganov, a pupil of Andrei Snezhnevsky, full member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the director of its Mental Health Research Center, and the chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. In 2011, when asked whether ill or healthy were those examined because of their disagreements with authority, Tiganov answered, “These people suffered from sluggish schizophrenia and were on the psychiatric register.” Psychiatrist Mikhail Vinogradov who offered to restore Soviet mental health law expressed the opinion that it "has never been used for political persecution." Human rights activists who claim it did, in Vinogradov’s words, "are not very mentally healthy."
In 2004, Savenko stated that the passed law on state expert activity and introduction of profession of forensic expert psychiatrist actually destroyed adversary-based examinations and that the Serbsky Center turned into a complete monopolist of forensic examination, which it had never been under Soviet rule. Formerly, a court could include any psychiatrist in a commission of experts, but now the court only chooses an expert institution. An expert has the right to participate only in commissions, in which he is included by the head of his expert institution, and can receive the certificate of qualification as an expert only after having worked in a state expert institution for three years. The Director of the Serbsky Center Dmitrieva was, at the same time, the head of the forensic psychiatry department which is the only one in the country and is located in her Center. No one had ever had such a monopoly.
According to Savenko, the Serbsky Center has long labored to legalize its monopolistic position of the Main expert institution of the country. It turned out to be a considerable drop in the level of its expert reports. Such a drop was inevitable and foreseeable in the context of the Serbsky Center efforts to eliminate adversary character of the expert reports of the parties and then to maximally degrade the role of a professional as a reviewer and critic of a presented expert report.
On 28 May 2009, Yuri Savenko wrote to the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev an open letter, in which Savenko asked Medvedev to submit to the State Duma a draft law prepared by the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia to address a sharp drop in the level of forensic psychiatric examinations, which Savenko attributed to a lack of competition within the sector and its increasing nationalization. The open letter says that the level of the expert reports has dropped to such an extent that it is often a matter of not only the absence of entire sections of a report, even such as the substantiation of its findings, and not only the gross contradiction of its findings to the descriptive section of the report, but it is often a matter of concrete statements which are so contrary to generally accepted scientific terms that doubts about the disinterestedness of the experts arise. According to the letter, courts, in violation of procedural rules, do not analyze expert report, its coherence and consistency in all its parts, do not check experts’ findings for their accuracy, completeness, and objectivity.
On 15 June 2009, the working group chaired by the Director of the Serbsky Center Tatyana Dmitrieva sent the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation a joint application whose purport was to declare appealing against the forensic expert reports of state expert institutions illegal and prohibit courts from receiving lawsuits filed to appeal against the reports. The reason put forward for the proposal was that appeals against expert reports were allegedly filed "without regard for the scope of case" and that one must appeal against an expert report "only together with a sentence." In other words, according to Yuri Savenko, all professional errors and omissions are presented as untouchable by virtue of the fact that they were infiltrated into the sentence. That is cynicism of administrative resources, cynicism of power, he says.
The draft of the application to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation was considered in the paper "Current legal issues relevant to forensic-psychiatric expert evaluation" by Elena Shchukina and Sergei Shishkov focusing on the inadmissibility of appealing against an expert report without regard for the scope of evaluated case. While talking about appealing against "reports", the authors of the paper, according to lawyer Dmitry Bartenev, mistakenly identify reports with actions of experts (or an expert institution) and justify the impossibility of "parallel" examination and evaluation of actions of experts without regard for the scope of evaluated case. Such a conclusion made by the authors appears clearly erroneous because abuse by experts of rights and legitimate interests of citizens including trial participants, of course, may be a subject for a separate appeal.
According to Russian psychiatrist Emmanuil Gushansky, today subjective position of the Russian patient with regard to the medical psychologist and psychiatrist is defensive in nature and prevents the attempt to understand the patient and help him assess his condition. Such a position is related to constant, subconscious fear of psychiatrists and psychiatry. This fear is caused by not only abuse of psychiatry, but also constant violence in the totalitarian and post-totalitarian society. The psychiatric violence and psychiatric arrogance as one of manifestations of such violence is related to the primary emphasis on symptomatology and biological causes of a disease, while ignoring psychological, existential, and psychodynamic factors. As Gushainsky states, the modern Russian psychiatry and the structure of providing mental health care are aimed not at protecting the patient's right to an own place in life, but at discrediting such a right, revealing symptoms and isolating the patient.
According to the report read by the president of the St Petersburg branch of Citizens Commission on Human Rights Roman Chorny at the XIII Congress of the IPA concerning antipsychiatry, a big problem is the fact that a significant number of people who received their diagnosis from psychiatrists in the Soviet era for their participation in the dissident movement remains not rehabilitated to the full. Some of them remained unrehabilitated till their death, for example engineer Vadim Lashkin, who wrote in the 1970s the letter in defense of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
According to the warning made in 2010 by Yuri Savenko at the same Congress, prof. Anatoly Smulevich, author of the monographs Problema Paranoyi (The Problem of Paranoia) (1972) and Maloprogredientnaya Shizofreniya (Continuous Sluggish Schizophrenia) (1987), which had contributed to the hyperdiagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia", again began to play the same role he played before. Recently, under his influence therapists began to widely use antidepressants and antipsychotics but often in inadequate cases and in inappropriate doses, without consulting psychiatrists. This situation has opened up a huge new market for pharmaceutical firms, with their unlimited capabilities, and the flow of the mentally ill to internists.
According to Doctor of Legal Sciences Vladimir Ovchinsky, regional differences in forensic psychiatric expert reports are striking. For example, in some regions of Russia, 8 or 9 percent of all examinees are pronounced sane; in other regions up to 75 percent of all examinees are pronounced sane. In some regions less than 2 percent of examinees are declared schizophrenics; in other regions up to 80 percent of examinees are declared schizophrenics.
In April 1995, the State Duma considered the first draft of a law that would have established a State Medical Commission with a psychiatrist to certify the competence of the President, the Prime Minister, and high federal political officials to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions. Ukrainian psychiatrist Ada Korotenko states that today the question is raised about the use of psychiatry to settle political accounts and establish psychiatric control over people competing for power in the country. Obviously, one will find supporters of the feasibility of such a filter, though is it worthwhile to substitute experts’ medical reports for elections?
Documents and memoirs
The evidence for the misuse of psychiatry for political purposes in the Soviet Union was documented in a number of articles and books. Several national psychiatric associations examined and acted upon this documentation. The United States Government Printing Office published documents on political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union in 1972,  1976,  and 1984. From 1987 to 1991, the International Association on the Political Use of Psychiatry published forty-two numbers of Documents on the Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the USSRarchived by the Columbia University Libraries in archival collection Human Rights Watch Records: Helsinki Watch, 1952–2003, Series VII: Chris Panico Files, 1979–1992, USSR, Psychiatry, International Association on the Political Use of Psychiatry, Box 16, Folder 5–8 (English version) and Box 16, Folder 9–11 (Russian version). In 1992, the British Medical Association published some documents on the subject in the book Medicine Betrayed: The Participation of Doctors in Human Rights Abuses. A number of various documents and reports were published in Information Bulletins by the Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry For Political Purposes, Chronicle of Current Events by the Moscow Helsinki Group and in the books Punitive Medicine by Alexandr Podrabinek, Bezumnaya Psikhiatriya (Mad Psychiatry) by Anatoly Prokopenko, Judgement in Moscow by Vladimir Bukovsky, Sovietskaya Psikhiatriya—Zabluzhdeniya i Umysel (Soviet Psychiatry: Fallacies and Wilfulness) by Ada Korotenko and Natalia Alikina, and Kaznimye Sumasshestviem (The Executed by Madness).
The widely known sources including published and written memoirs by victims of psychiatric arbitrariness convey moral and physical sufferings experienced by the victims in special psychiatric hospitals of the USSR. In 1965, Valery Tarsis published in the West his book Ward 7: An Autobiographical Novel based upon his own experiences in 1963–1964 when he was detained in the Moscow Kashchenko psychiatric hospital for political reasons. The book was a first literary work to deal with the Soviet authorities' abuse of psychiatry. In 1968, the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky wrote Gorbunov and Gorchakov, a forty-page long poem in thirteen cantos consisting of lengthy conversations between two patients in a Soviet psychiatric prison as well as between each of them separately and the interrogating psychiatrists. The topics vary from the taste of the cabbage served for supper to the meaning of life and Russia's destiny. The poem was translated into English by Harry Thomas. The experience underlying Gorbunov and Gorchakov was formed by two stints of Brodsky at psychiatric establishments. In 1970, Natalya Gorbanevskaya published her book Polden: Delo o Demonstratsii 24 Avgusta 1968 na Krasnoy Ploshchadi (Noon: The Case on the Demonstration of 25 August 1968 at the Red Square) translated into English under the title Red Square at Noon. Some parts of the book describe special psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric examinations of dissidents. In 1971, Zhores Medvedev and Roy Medvedev published their joint book A Question of Madness: Repression by Psychiatry in the Soviet Union describing the hospitalization of Zhores Medvedev for political purposes and the Soviet practice of diagnosing political oppositionists as the mentally ill. In 1976, Viktor Nekipelov published in samizdat his book Institute of Fools: Notes on the Serbsky Institute documenting his personal experience at Psychiatric Hospital of the Serbsky Institute. In 1980, the book was translated and published in English. Only in 2005, the book was published in Russia. In 1977, British playwright Tom Stoppard wrote the play Every Good Boy Deserves Favour that criticized the Soviet practice of treating political dissidence as a form of mental illness. The play is dedicated to Viktor Fainberg and Vladimir Bukovsky, two Soviet dissidents expelled to the West. In 1978, the book I Vozvrashchaetsa Veter... (And the wind returns...) by Vladimir Bukovsky, describing dissident movement, their struggle or freedom, practices of dealing with dissenters, and dozen years spent by Bukovsky in Soviet labor camps, prisons and psychiatric hospitals, was published and later translated into English under the title To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter. In 1979, Leonid Plyushch published his book Na Karnavale Istorii (At History’s Сarnival) in which he described how he and other dissidents were committed to psychiatric hospitals. At the same year, the book was translated into English under the title History's Carnival: A Dissident's Autobiography. In 1981, Pyotr Grigorenko published his memoirs V Podpolye Mozhno Vstretit Tolko Krys (In Underground One Can Meet Only Rats) that included story of his psychiatric examinations and hospitalizations. In 1982, the book was translated into English under the title Memoirs. In 1983, Evgeny Nikolaev’s book Predavshie Gippokrata (The betrayal of Hippocrates), when translated from Russian into German under the title Gehirnwäsche in Moskau (Brainwashing in Moscow), first came out in München and told about psychiatric detention of its author for political reasons. In 1984, the book under its original title was first published in Russian which the book had originally been written in. In the 1983 novel Firefox Down by Craig Thomas, captured American pilot Mitchell Gant is imprisoned in a KGB psychiatric clinic "associated with the Serbsky Institute", where he is drugged and interrogated to force him to reveal the location of the Firefox aircraft, which he has stolen and flown out of Russia. In 1987, Robert van Voren published his book Koryagin: A man Struggling for Human Dignity telling about psychiatrist Anatoly Koryagin who resisted political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union. In 1988, Reportazh iz Niotkuda (Reportage from Nowhere) by Viktor Rafalsky was published. In the publication, he described his confinement in Soviet psychiatric hospitals. In 1993, Valeriya Novodvorskaya published her collection of writings Po Tu Storonu Otchayaniya (Beyond Despair) in which her experience in the prison psychiatric hospital in Kazan was described. In 1996, Vladimir Bukovsky published his book Moskovsky Protsess (Moscow trial) containing an account of developing the punitive psychiatry based on documents that were being submitted to and considered by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The book was translated into English in 1999 under the title Judgement in Moscow. In 2001, Nikolay Kupriyanov published his book GULAG-2-SN which has the foreword by Anatoly Sobchak, covers repressive psychiatry in Soviet Army, and tells about humiliations Kupriyanov underwent in the psychiatric departments of the Northern Fleet hospital and the Kirov Military Medical Academy. In 2002, St. Petersburg forensic psychiatrist Vladimir Pshizov published his book Sindrom Zamknutogo Prostranstva (Syndrome of Closed Space) describing hospitalization of Viktor Fainberg. 2003 saw the book Moyа Sudba i Moyа Borba protiv Psikhiatrov (My Destiny and My Struggle against Psychiatrists) by Anatoly Serov who worked as a lead design engineer before he was committed to a psychiatric hospital. In 2010, Alexander Shatravka published his book Pobeg iz Raya (Escape from Paradise) in which he described how he and his companions were caught after they illegally crossed the border between Finland and the Soviet Union to escape from the latter country and, as a result, were confined to Soviet psychiatric hospitals and prisons. In his book, he also described methods of brutal treatment of prisoners in the institutions.
The use of psychiatry for political purposes in the USSR was discussed in two television documentaries: They Chose Freedom produced by Vladimir V. Kara-Murza in 2005 and Prison Psychiatry produced by Anatoly Yaroshevsky of NTV in the same year.
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- Abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union: hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, first session, September 20, 1983. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1984.
- Soviet Political Psychiatry: The Story of the Opposition. London: International Association on the Political Use of Psychiatry, Working Group on the Internment of Dissenters in Mental Hospitals; 1983.
- British Medical Association. Medicine betrayed: the participation of doctors in human rights abuses. Zed Books; 1992. ISBN 1-85649-104-8.
- Psychiatric abuse of political prisoners in the Soviet Union: testimony by Leonid Plyushch: hearing before the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, second session, March 30, 1976. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1976.
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Journal articles and book chapters
- 15 лет Независимому психиатрическому журналу [15th anniversary of the Independent Psychiatric Journal]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2005 [Retrieved 24 July 2011];(4). Russian.
- Alexéyeff, S.. Abuse of psychiatry as a tool for political repression in the Soviet Union. The Medical Journal of Australia. 1976;1(5):122–123. PMID 1263959.
- Bloch, Sidney. The political misuse of Soviet psychiatry: Honolulu and beyond. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 1980 [Retrieved 19 February 2013];14(2):109–114. doi:10.3109/00048678009159364. PMID 6107077.
- Bonnie, Richard. Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union and in China: Complexities and Controversies. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 2002 [Retrieved 24 February 2011];30(1):136–144. PMID 11931362.
- Bonnie, Richard; Polubinskaya, Svetlana. Unraveling Soviet psychiatry. The Journal of Cotemporary Legal Issues. 1999 [Retrieved 15 June 2013];10:279–298.
- Chodoff, Paul. Ethical conflicts in psychiatry: the Soviet Union vs. the U.S.. Hospital and Community Psychiatry. 1985;36(9):925–928. PMID 4065851.
- Chorny, Roman [Роман Чорный]. Позиция гражданской комиссии по правам человека [The stand of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2010 [Retrieved 16 December 2012];(4):18–24. Russian.
- Danilin, Alexander [Александр Данилин]. Тупик [Deadlock]. Русская жизнь [Russian Life]. 28 March 2008 [Retrieved 21 April 2011]. Russian.
- Dmitriev, Dmitry [Дмитрий Дмитриев]. Книжная полка Дмитрия Дмитриева [The bookshelf of Dmitry Dmitriev]. Novy Mir [New World]. 2002 [Retrieved 30 January 2013];(7). Russian.
- Fulford, K.; Smirnov, A.; Snow, E.. Concepts of disease and the abuse of psychiatry in the USSR. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 1993 [Retrieved 23 January 2012];162(6):801–810. doi:10.1192/bjp.162.6.801.
- Gershman, Carl. Psychiatric abuse in the Soviet Union. Society. 1984;21(5):54–59. doi:10.1007/BF02695434. PMID 11615169.
- Gluzman, Semyon. Abuse of psychiatry: analysis of the guilt of medical personnel. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1991;17(Supplement):19–20. doi:10.1136/jme.17.Suppl.19. PMID 1795363.
- Gluzman, Semyon [Семён Глузман]. Украинское лицо судебной психиатрии [The Ukrainian face of forensic psychiatry]. Новости медицины и фармации [Medicine and Pharmacy News]. 2009a;15(289). Russian.
- Gluzman, Semyon [Семён Глузман]. Этиология психиатрических злоупотреблений: попытка мультидисциплинарного анализа [The etiology of psychiatric abuses: an attempt at multidisciplinary analysis]. Новости медицины и фармации [Medicine and Pharmacy News]. 2009b [Retrieved 2 January 2013];20(300):18–19. Russian.
- Gluzman, Semyon [Семён Глузман]. Этиология злоупотреблений в психиатрии: попытка мультидисциплинарного анализа [The etiology of abuses in psychiatry: an attempt at multidisciplinary analysis]. Нейроnews: Психоневрология и нейропсихиатрия [Neuronews: Psychoneurology and Neuropsychiatry]. January 2010;1(20). Russian.
- Gostin, Larry. Soviet Psychiatric Abuse: the Shadow Over World Psychiatry. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1986;12(3):161–162. doi:10.1136/jme.12.3.161-a.
- Gushansky, Emmanuil [Эммануил Гушанский]. Нужны ли правозащитники в психиатрии? [Are defenders of human rights needed in psychiatry?]. Российский бюллетень по правам человека [Russian Bulletin on Human Rights]. 1999 [archived 19 January 2013; Retrieved 18 February 2013];(13). Russian.
- Gushansky, Emmanuil [Эммануил Гушанский]. Нужны ли правозащитники в психиатрии? [Are defenders of human rights needed in psychiatry?]. Адвокатская палата [Advocatory chamber]. 2010 [Retrieved 12 July 2013];(8):23–25. Russian.
- Gushansky, Emmanuil [Эммануил Гушанский]. Субъективная картина болезни и гуманистические проблемы в психиатрии [Subjective picture of disease and humanistic issues in psychiatry]. Человек [Man]. 2000;(2):112–119. Russian.
- Keukens, Rob; Voren, Robert van. Coercion in psychiatry: still an instrument of political misuse?. BMC Psychiatry. 2007;7(Suppl 1):S4. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-7-S1-S4.
- Koryagin, Anatoliy. Compulsion in psychiatry: blessing or curse?. Psychiatric Bulletin. 1990 [Retrieved 21 April 2011];14(7):394–398. doi:10.1192/pb.14.7.394.
- Kosserev, Igor; Crawshaw, Ralph. Medicine and the Gulag. BMJ. 1994;309(6970):1726–1730. doi:10.1136/bmj.309.6970.1726. PMID 7820004.
- Lader, Malcolm. Prisoners of psychiatry. BMJ. 1980;281(6235):298–299.
- Lapshin, O.V. [О.В. Лапшин]. Недобровольная госпитализация психически больных в законодательстве России и Соединенных Штатов [Involuntary hospitalization of mental patients in the legislation of Russia and the United States]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2003 [Retrieved 8 July 2011];(4). Russian.
- Lavretsky, Helen. The Russian Concept of Schizophrenia: A Review of the Literature. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 1998 [Retrieved 21 April 2011];24(4):537–557. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a033348. PMID 9853788.
- Levine, Sidney. The Special Committee on the Political Abuse of Psychiatry. Psychiatric Bulletin. 1981;5(5):94–95. doi:10.1192/pb.5.5.94.
- Lyons, Declan; O'Malley, Art. The labelling of dissent — politics and psychiatry behind the Great Wall. The Psychiatrist. 2002:443–444. doi:10.1192/pb.26.12.443.
- Magalif, Alexandr [Александр Магалиф]. Коготок увяз — всей птичке пропасть [Chickens come home to roost]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal. 2010 [Retrieved 21 April 2011];(1):69–71. Russian.
- Merskey, Harold. Political neutrality and international cooperation in medicine. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1978;4(2):74–77. PMID 671475.
- Moran, Mark. Historic Visit Documented Abuses, Led to Psychiatric System Reform. Psychiatric News. 3 December 2010;45(23):9, 37.
- Nuller, Yuri [Юрий Нуллер]. О парадигме в психиатрии [On paradign in psychiatry]. Обозрение психиатрии и медицинской психологии имени В.М. Бехтерева. 1991;(4). Russian.
- Ougrin, Dennis; Gluzman, Semyon; Dratcu, Luiz. Psychiatry in post-communist Ukraine: dismantling the past, paving the way for the future. The Psychiatrist. 2006;30(12):456–459. doi:10.1192/pb.30.12.456.
- Pshizov, Vladimir [Владимир Пшизов]. Психиатрия тронулась? [Has psychiatry moved on?]. Альманах "Неволя" ["Bondage" Almanac]. 2006 [Retrieved 29 December 2012];(6). Russian.
- Popov, Yuri V.. The Bekhterev Review of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology. 1992 [Retrieved 21 April 2011]. ISBN 978-0-88048-667-5. Diagnosis of a "Severe Personality Disorder" as a Cause of Criminal Inresponsibility: V.K. Bukovsky. p. 69–73.
- Rafalsky, Viktor [Виктор Рафальский]. Репортаж из ниоткуда [News from nowhere]. Воля: журнал узников тоталитарных систем [Will: the journal of prisoners of totalitarian systems]. 1995 [Retrieved 5 April 2012];(4–5):162–181. Russian.
- Safonova, Catherine [Екатерина Сафонова]. Если вы не отзовётесь, мы напишем в "Спортлото"! [If you do not respond we will write to the 'sports lottery'!]. Ogonyok. 27 September 1999 [Retrieved 18 December 2012];(27). Russian.
- Sagan, Leonard; Jonsen, Albert. Medical Ethics and Torture. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1976;294(26):1427–1430. doi:10.1056/NEJM197606242942605. PMID 944852.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Отчетный доклад о деятельности НПА России за 2000–2003 гг [Report on the activities of the IPA of Russia over 2000–2003]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2004a [Retrieved 20 July 2011];(2). Russian.
- Новикова. Права человека и психиатрия в Российской Федерации: Доклад по результатам мониторинга и тематические статьи [Human rights and psychiatry in the Russian Federation: Report on the results of monitoring and subject articles]. Moscow: Московская Хельсинкская группа [Moscow Helsinki Group]; 2004b. Russian. ISBN 5-98440-007-3. Тенденции в отношении к правам человека в области психического здоровья [Trends in the attitude to human rights in the field of mental health].
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Карательная психиатрия в России (рецензия) [Punitive psychiatry in Russia (review)]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2005a [Retrieved 21 April 2011];(1). Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. "Институт дураков" Виктора Некипелова [Institute of fools by Victor Nekipelov]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2005b [Retrieved 21 April 2011];(4). Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Дело Андрея Новикова. Психиатрию в политических целях использует власть, а не психиатры: Интервью Ю.С. Савенко корреспонденту "Новой газеты" Галине Мурсалиевой [The case of Andrei Novikov. Psychiatry for political purposes used by authority, not psychiatrists: Yuri Savenko interviewed by Galina Mursalieva, correspondent of "Novaya Gazeta"]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2007 [Retrieved 26 December 2011];(4):88–91. Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Михаил Осипович (Иосифович) Гуревич [Mikhail Osipovich (Iosifovich) Gurevich]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2009a [Retrieved 4 July 2011];(3). Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. 20-летие НПА России [20th anniversary of the IPA of Russia]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal. 2009b [Retrieved 20 July 2011];(1):5–18. Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Открытое письмо Президенту Российской Федерации Д.А. Медведеву [The open letter to the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2009c [Retrieved 12 July 2011];(2):5–6. Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri [Юрий Савенко]. Латентные формы антипсихиатрии как главная опасность [Latent forms of anti-psychiatry as a major threat]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2010 [Retrieved 16 December 2012];(4):13–17. Russian.
- Savenko, Yuri; Bartenev, Dmitry [Юрий Савенко; Дмитрий Бартенев]. Психиатр и юрист о новой инициативе центра им. Сербского [The psychiatrist and lawyer comment a new initiative of the Serbsky Center]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2010 [Retrieved 12 July 2011];(1):85–86. Russian.
- Shaw, David; Bloch, Sidney; Vickers, Ann. Psychiatry and the state. New Scientist. 1972 [Retrieved 20 February 2011];56(818):258–261.
- Shchukina, Elena; Shishkov, Sergei [Елена Щукина; Сергей Шишков]. Актуальные правовые вопросы судебно-психиатрической экспертизы [Relevant legal issues of forensic-psychiatric expert evaluation]. Российский психиатрический журнал. 2009;(6):24–28. Russian.
- Smythies, J.. Psychiatry and the neurosciences. Psychological Medicine. 1973;3(3):267–269. doi:10.1017/S0033291700049576. PMID 4125732.
- Stayzhkin, V.D.. The Bekhterev Review of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 1992 [Retrieved 21 April 2011]. ISBN 0-88048-667-8. Diagnosis of a Paranoiac (Delusional) Personality Development in the Forensic Psychiatric Expert Examination. p. 65–68.
- Stone, Alan. Psychiatrists on the side of the angels: the Falun Gong and Soviet Jewry. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 2002;30(1):107–111. PMID 11931357.
- Svetova, Zoya [Зоя Светова]. Злоупотребление психиатрической властью в России – свидетельствует пресса [The abuse of psychiatric power in Russia, as witnessed by the press]. Nezavisimiy Psikhiatricheskiy Zhurnal [The Independent Psychiatric Journal]. 2007 [Retrieved 8 August 2011];(2):87–89. Russian.
- Szasz, Thomas. Psychiatric diagnosis, psychiatric power and psychiatric abuse. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1994;20(3):135–138. doi:10.1136/jme.20.3.135. PMID 7996558.
- Szasz, Thomas. The Therapeutic State: The Tyranny of Pharmacracy. The Independent Review. 2001 [Retrieved 20 January 2012];V(4):485–521.
- The New Leader. The trial of Iosif Brodsky: A transcript. The New Leader. 1964;(47):6–7.
- Voren, Robert van. Comparing Soviet and Chinese Political Psychiatry. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 2002 [Retrieved 27 February 2011];30(1):131–135. PMID 11931361.
- Voren, Robert van. Political Abuse of Psychiatry—An Historical Overview. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2010a;36(1):33–35. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbp119. PMID 19892821.
- Voren, Robert van [Ворен, Роберт ван]. История повторяется и в политической психиатрии [History repeats itself in political psychiatry too]. Новости медицины и фармации [Medicine and Pharmacy News]. 2009b;(303). Russian.
- Activist held in psychiatric hospital. The Washington Times. 29 July 2007 [Retrieved 2 May 2011].
- Украинское информационное агентство Новости [Ukrainian Informational Agency "News"]. В Украине слишком много психбольниц: пресс-конференция С. Глузмана [There are too many psychiatric hospitals in Ukraine: S. Gluzman’s press conference]; 4 October 2008 [Retrieved 27 July 2011]. Russian.
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