Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky (Russian: Влади́мир Константи́нович Буко́вский; born December 30, 1942) is a leading member of the dissident movement of the 1960s and 1970s, writer, neurophysiologist, and political activist.
Bukovsky was one of the first to expose the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the Soviet Union. He spent a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and in psikhushkas, forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals used by the government as special prisons.
In 1976, after negotiations between the governments of the USSR and the USA, Bukovsky was exchanged for the Chilean political prisoner, communist Luis Corvalán, imprisoned by Augusto Pinochet. After that, Bukovsky moved to the UK.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Activism and arrests
- 3 Deportation
- 4 In the United Kingdom
- 5 Judgement in Moscow
- 6 Post-1992
- 7 Candidate for Russian Presidential Election, 2008
- 8 Intervention in the controversy over American Betrayal
- 9 Publications
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Vladimir Bukovsky was born in the town of Belebey, Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (now Bashkortostan), Russian SFSR, USSR, where his family was evacuated from Moscow during World War II. In 1959 he was expelled from his Moscow school for creating and editing an unauthorized magazine.
Activism and arrests
Bukovksy entered Moscow University in September 1960 to study biology. While at university, he and a couple of friends decided to revive the Mayakovsky Square poetry readings that had taken place in the late 1950s. They linked up with people involved with literary samizdat who had participated in the earlier readings, such as Vladimir Osipov, editor of Bumerang (1960), and Yuri Galanskov, editor of Feniks (1961).:17–19 During this time, Bukovsky wrote his "Theses on the Collapse of the Komsomol", in which he portrayed the USSR as an "illegal society" facing an acute ideological crisis. He asserted that the Komsomol was "dead", having lost moral and spiritual authority, and called for its democratization.:153–156 This text and these activities brought Bukovsky to the attention of the authorities. He was interrogated twice, and then thrown out of the university in autumn 1961.:455
In May 1963, Bukovsky was detained and convicted under Article 70-1 of the Penal Code of the RSFSR, Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. The official charge was the possession of photocopies of anti-Soviet literature, namely The New Class by Milovan Djilas. He was confined to a psychiatric hospital, remaining there until February 1965.
In December 1965, Bukovsky helped organize a demonstration at Pushkin Square in Moscow held as a response to the trial of writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel. He helped disseminate the "Civic appeal", which had been drafted by mathematician and poet Alexander Esenin-Volpin and called for the authorities to obey Soviet laws requiring glasnost in the legal process. The demonstration on December 5 became known as "glasnost meeting" and is considered to mark the beginning of the Soviet civil rights movement. Bukovsky himself was arrested three days prior to the planned demonstration for distributing the appeal and kept in various psikhushkas until July 1966.:455–456
In January 1967, Bukovsky was arrested along with Vadim Delaunay and Evgeny Kushev for his role in organizing a demonstration on Pushkin Square against the arrest of Alexander Ginzburg, Yuri Galanskov and other dissidents involved in samizdat.:136 In his final plea during the trial, Bukovsky attacked the regime's failure to follow legal procedures, quoting Article 125 of the Soviet Constitution in defense of the right to organize demonstrations, and suggesting that the prosecution had consistently departed from the Code of Criminal Procedure in its conduct of the case.:74–75 The plea widely circulated in samizdat as part of a collection of materials about the demonstration and subsequent trials compiled by Pavel Litvinov.:87–95:37–43 While Vadim Delaunay and Evgeny Kushev both received suspended jail sentences and were released, Bukovsky received three years in a corrective labor camp with a normal regime, dating from his arrest, and was sent to Bor Settlement in the Voronezh region. He was released in January 1970.
Activism against the abuse of psychiatry
In 1971, Bukovsky managed to smuggle to the West over 150 pages documenting abuse of psychiatric institutions for political reasons in the Soviet Union. In an accompanying letter, addressed to "Western psychiatrists" and written in a deliberately restrained tone, Bukovsky asked them to consider if the evidence justified the isolation of several dissidents, and for them to discuss the matter at the next International Congress of Psychiatrists.:138–141:29–30
The documents were released to the press in March by a small French group called the International Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, and Bukovsky's letter appeared in The Times and the British Journal of Psychiatry:79; 82
The information galvanized human rights activists worldwide, including inside the country. In September 1971, forty-four European psychiatrists wrote to The Times expressing grave doubts about the diagnoses of the six people concerned. At a meeting in November 1971, the World Federation for Mental Health called on its members to investigate the charges and defend the right to free opinion where it was threatened.:85 Responding to public pressure, the World Psychiatric Association condemned Soviet practices at its Sixth World Congress in 1977 and set up a review committee to monitor misuse. The Soviet representatives subsequently withdrew from the World Psychiatric Association in 1983 rather than face expulsion.:42–44 Bukovsky later characterized this reaction as "the most important victory for the dissident form of glasnost".:144
These activities served as a pretext for Bukovsky's subsequent arrest in the same year. After the arrest he spent approximately 3 months in a psychiatric institution; however, in November a psychiatric committee pronounced him mentally sound. At the trial in January 1972 Bukovsky was accused of slandering Soviet psychiatry, contacts with foreign journalists and possession and distribution of samizdat. Bukovsky was sentenced to 2 years in prison, 5 in a labor camp, and 5 in internal exile.:31–32
In 1974, Bukovsky and the incarcerated psychiatrist Semyon Gluzman wrote A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissenters, in which they provided potential future victims of political psychiatry with instructions on how to behave during inquest in order to avoid being diagnosed as mentally ill.
The fate of Bukovsky and other political prisoners in the Soviet Union, was repeatedly brought to world attention by Western human rights groups and diplomats.
In December 1976, in his eleventh year of psychiatric hospitals and prison camps, Bukovsky was exchanged by the Soviet government for the imprisoned Chilean Communist leader Luis Corvalán at Zürich airport and, after a short stay in the Netherlands, took up refuge in Great Britain where later moved from London to Cambridge for his studies in biology.:7 In his autobiographical book To Build a Castle, Bukovsky describes how he was brought to Switzerland handcuffed. This biography is available online at several sites.
In the United Kingdom
Since 1976 Bukovsky has lived in Cambridge, England, focusing on neurophysiology and writing. He received a Masters Degree in Biology and has written several books and political essays. In addition to criticizing the Soviet government, he also picked apart what he calls "Western gullibility", a lack of a tough stand of Western liberalism against Communist abuses.
In 1983, together with Vladimir Maximov and Eduard Kuznetsov he cofounded and was elected president of the international anti-Communist organization Resistance International (Интернационал сопротивления). In 1985, together with Albert Jolis, Armando Valladares, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Midge Decter and Yuri Yarim-Agaev he founded the American Foundation for Resistance International, later joined by Richard Perle and Martin Colman.  It also created the National Council To Support The Democracy Movements (National Council For Democracy) which helped establish democratic rule-of-law governments and assisted with the writing of their constitutions and civil structures.
Judgement in Moscow
In April 1991 Vladimir Bukovsky visited Moscow for the first time since his forced deportation. In the run-up to the 1991 presidential election the team around Boris Yeltsin considered Bukovsky as a potential vice-presidential running-mate (other contenders included Galina Starovoitova and Gennady Burbulis). In the end, the vice-presidency was offered to Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Rutskoy.
In 1992, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President Yeltsin's government invited Bukovsky to serve as an expert to testify at the CPSU trial by Constitutional Court of Russia, where the communists were suing Yeltsin for banning their party. The respondent's case was that the CPSU itself had been an unconstitutional organization. To prepare for his testimony, Bukovsky requested and was granted access to a large number of documents from Soviet archives (then reorganized into TsKhSD). Using a small handheld scanner and a laptop computer, he managed to secretly scan many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Central Committee, and smuggle the files to the West. The event that many expected would be another Nuremberg Trial and the beginnings of reconciliation with the Communist past, ended up in half-measures: while the CPSU was found unconstitutional, the communists were allowed to form new parties in the future. Bukovsky expressed his deep disappointment with this in his writings and interviews:
|“||Having failed to finish off conclusively the communist system, we are now in danger of integrating the resulting monster into our world. It may not be called communism anymore, but it retained many of its dangerous characteristics... Until the Nuremberg-style tribunal passes its judgement on all the crimes committed by communism, it is not dead and the war is not over.||”|
It took several years and a team of assistants to compose the scanned pieces together and publish it (see Soviet Archives, collected by Vladimir Bukovsky, prepared for electronic publishing by Julia Zaks and Leonid Chernikhov). The same collection of documents is also massively quoted in Bukovsky's Judgement in Moscow, a book which in the end was never published in English (Random House bought the rights to the manuscript but according to Bukovsky, “tried to force [him] to rewrite the whole book from the liberal left political perspective.” Bukovsky replied that “due to certain peculiarities of my biography I am allergic to political censorship.” The contract was subsequently canceled. A French translation of the book was published as Jugement à Moscou in 1994, and it has been published in Russian, and a few other Slavic languages.
In 1992 a group of liberal deputies of the Moscow City Council proposed Bukovsky's candidacy for elections of the new Mayor of Moscow, following the resignation of the previous Mayor, Gavriil Popov. Bukovsky refused the offer. In early 1996 a group of Moscow academics, journalists and intellectuals suggested that Vladimir Bukovsky should run for President of Russia as an alternative candidate to both incumbent President Boris Yeltsin and his Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov. No formal nomination was initiated. In any case, Bukovsky would not have been allowed to run, as the Russian Constitution stipulates that any presidential candidate must have lived in the country continuously for ten years prior to the election.
In 1997, during the General Meeting in Florence, Bukovsky has been elected General President of the "Comitatus pro Libertatibus–Comitati per le Libertà–Freedom Committees", the international movement aimed to defend and empower everywhere the culture of liberties. Re-elected since then, Bukovsky promoted together with Dario Fertilio and Stéphane Courtois, a writer and an historian, the Memento Gulag, or Memorial Day devoted to the victims of communism, to be held each year, on 7 November (anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution). Since then, the Memento Gulag has been celebrated in Rome, Bucharest, Berlin, La Roche sur Yon and Paris.
In 2002 Boris Nemtsov, a member of the Russian Duma (parliament) and leader of the Union of Rightist Forces, and former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, visited Vladimir Bukovsky in Cambridge to discuss the strategy of the Russian opposition. Bukovsky told Nemtsov that, in his view, it is imperative that Russian liberals adopt an uncompromising stand toward what he sees as the authoritarian government of President Vladimir Putin. In January 2004, together with Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza and others, Vladimir Bukovsky co-founded the Committee 2008, an umbrella organization of the Russian democratic opposition, whose purpose is to ensure free and fair presidential elections in 2008.
In 2005, with the revelations about captives in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, Abu Ghraib and the CIA secret prisons, Bukovsky criticized the rationalization of torture. In a Washington Post editorial, Bukovsky recounted his experience under torture in Lefortovo prison in 1971. Bukovsky argued that once commenced, the inertia of torture is difficult to control, corrupting those carrying it out. He wrote that torture "has historically been an instrument of oppression — not an instrument of investigation or of intelligence gathering." Bukovsky explained:
|“||Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one's sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists.||”|
Bukovsky has warned about some parallels between the formation of the Soviet Union and the European Union. In 2006 he described the perils of the past Soviet model in which nationalities were dissolved to create a new people, explaining that while Soviet ideology postulated that the State would eventually wither away, the reality was quite different, with the State becoming paramount.
Vladimir Bukovsky is a member of the Board of Directors of the Gratitude Fund, and a member of the International Council of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and a Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute in Washington. In the United Kingdom, he is Vice-President of The Freedom Association (TFA) and has been a patron of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). He holds that Russia is too big and should be broken up into several smaller countries.
Bukovsky is among the 34 first signatories of the online anti-Putin manifesto "Putin must go", published on 10 March 2010.
Candidate for Russian Presidential Election, 2008
The group that nominated Bukovsky as a candidate included Yuri Ryzhov, Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Alexander Podrabinek, Andrei Piontkovsky, Vladimir Pribylovsky and others. Activists and writers Valeria Novodvorskaya, Victor Shenderovich, Vladimir Sorokin favored Bukovsky.
In their answer to pro-Kremlin politicians and publicists who expressed doubt in Bukovksy's electoral prospects, his nominators refuted a number of frequently repeated statements.
More than 800 participants nominated Bukovsky for president on December 16, 2007 in Moscow. Bukovsky secured the required turnout and submitted his registration to the Central Election Commission on December 18, 2007.
The Election Commission turned down Bukovsky's application on December 22, 2007, claiming that he failed to give information on his activity as a writer when submitting documents to the Election Commission, that he was holding a British residence permit, and that he has not been living on Russian territory over the past ten years. Bukovsky appealed the decision in Supreme Court on December 28, 2007, then in its cassation board on January 15, 2008.
Intervention in the controversy over American Betrayal
In September 2013, Bukovsky entered the controversy over Diana West's anti-communist American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (2013), which had been condemned by the historian Professor Ronald Radosh as "McCarthy on Steroids" in a review for Front Page Magazine. Writing at Breitbart.com, Bukovsky forcefully rejected Radosh's criticisms, condemned the attempt to portray West as a deluded and historically inept conspiracy-monger, and supported her conclusions as to the infiltration of the Roosevelt government by Stalinist agents and fellow-travelers:
- That treacherous Establishment is still there. We are still governed by a nomenklatura of collaborationists, Petains and Quislings of the Cold War. Mrs. West has reached that conclusion merely by examining the first chapters of this sad story. Sure enough, there are mountains of other and more recent evidence to support her conclusions. But of course, whatever the evidence, the "consensus" will never plead guilty. Rather, they will try and usurp the judicial seat.
- Soviet Archives, collected by Vladimir Bukovsky, prepared for electronic publishing by Julia Zaks and Leonid Chernikhov.
- List of publications of Vladimir Bukovsky at The Gratitude Fund.
- EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration, 2004. ISBN 0-9540231-1-0
- Vladimir Bukovsky. To Build a Castle, Samizdat", 1978 (И возвращается ветер, (Russian) Vehi.net
- Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1979. ISBN 0-89633-029-X
- Bukovskiĭ, Vladimir (1979). To Build a Castle. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-71640-1.
- Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility, 1987. ISBN 0-89633-113-X
- Judgement in Moscow (Московский процесс) based on his 1992 visit to Russia and the "Soviet Archives".
- To Choose Freedom Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1987. ISBN 0-8179-8442-9
- Vladimir Boukovsky. L’Union européenne, une nouvelle URSS ? Editeur: Le Rocher, Publication: 1/9/2005, ISBN 2-268-05546-9, 180 pages.
- Vladimir Boukovsky (Auteur), Pavel Stroilov (Auteur), Pierre Lorrain (Traduction). L'Union européenne, une nouvelle URSS ?, 2005. A review at Librairie Catholique.
- The Soviet Story - documentary
- Borrero, Mauricio (2004). Russia: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present. Infobase Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 0-8160-4454-6.
- Bukovsky's works on neurophysiology
- Hilton, Ronald (1986). World affairs report. Volumes 16–17. California Institute of International Studies. p. 26.
- "International Advisory Council". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
- Rubenstein, Joshua (1980). Soviet dissidents: their struggle for human rights. Boston: Beacon. ISBN 978-0807032121.
- (Russian) Bukovsky, "Tezisy", in: Lyudmila Polikovskaya (1997). My predchuvstvie. Predtecha... Ploshhad' Mayakovskogo 1958—1965. M.: Zven'ya. ISBN 5-7870-0002-1
- Boobbyer, Philip (2009). "Vladimir Bukovskii and Soviet Communism". Slavonic and East European Review 87 (3): 452–487.
- Litvinov, Pavel (1971). The Trial of The Four: A collection of Materials on the case of Galanskov, Ginzburg, Dobrovolsky, & Lashkova 1967-1968. New York: The Viking Press. ISBN 9780670730179.
- Alexeyeva, Lyudmila; Goldberg, Paul (1990). The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era era. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 9780316031462.
- Horvath, Robert (2005). The Legacy of Soviet Dissent: Dissidents, Democratisation and Radical Nationalism in Russia. BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies 17. London; New York: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 9780203412855.
- Litvinov, Pavel (1969). The demonstration in Pushkin Square. The trial records with commentary and an open letter. London: Harvill. ASIN B0026Q02KE.
- Abuse of psychiatry for political repression in the Soviet Union. New York: Arno. 1973. ISBN 0405006985.
- Reddaway, Peter (March 12, 1971). "Plea to West on Soviet 'mad-house' jails". The Times. p. 8.
- Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1984). Soviet Psychiatric Abuse. The Shadow Over World Psychiatry. London: Gollancz. ISBN 0575032537.
- Richter, Derek (August 1, 1971). "Political Dissenters in Mental Hospitals". The British Journal of Psychiatry 119 (549): 225–226. doi:10.1192/bjp.119.549.225.
- Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1977). Russia's Political Hospitals. London: Gollancz. ISBN 9780575023185.
- The Times, September 16, 1971, p. 17.
- (Russian) Bukovskii, Vladimir (1996). Moskovskii Protsess [Moscow trial]. Moscow: MIK.
- For more details of Bukovsky's arrest and trial, see Chronicle of Current Events, No. 19 (1971), pp. 169-171; Nos 22-23 (1972), pp. 4-6, 50-63; No. 24 (1972), pp. 115-119. For a KGB profile of Bukovsky, dated May 18, 1972, see: Morozov, Boris (1999). Documents on Soviet Jewish Emigration. London: Frank Cass. pp. 152–154. ISBN 978-0-7146-4911-5.
- Bukovskiĭ, Vladimir; Gluzman, Semyon (1976). A manual on psychiatry for dissidents. printed by Keuffel and Esser.
- (Russian) A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissidents ("Пособие по психиатрии для инакомыслящих")
- Helmchen, Hanfried; Sartorius, Norman (2010). Ethics in Psychiatry: European Contributions. Springer. p. 495. ISBN 90-481-8720-6.
- Chenoweth (1992, p. 4): Chenoweth, Eric (Summer 1992). "The gallant warrior: In memoriam Tom Kahn". Uncaptive Minds: A Journal of Information and Opinion on Eastern Europe (pdf) (in Polish) (1718 M Street, NW, No. 147, Washington DC 20036, USA: Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE)) 5 (20, number 2): 5–16. ISSN 0897-9669.[dead link]
- Laird, Robbin; Hoffmann, Erik (1986). Soviet foreign policy in a changing world. Transaction Publishers. p. 79. ISBN 0-202-24166-1.
- Ulianova, Olga (2013), "Corvalán for Bukovsky: a real exchange of prisoners during an imaginary war. The Chilean dictatorship, the Soviet Union, and US mediation, 1973–1976", Cold War History, doi:10.1080/14682745.2013.793310, ISSN 1743-7962
- van Voren, Robert (2009). On Dissidents and Madness: From the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev to the "Soviet Union" of Vladimir Putin. Amsterdam—New York: Rodopi. p. 7. ISBN 978-90-420-2585-1.
- В.Буковский «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г. Vehi.net
- B.Буковский «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г. Sakharov-venter.ru
- В. Буковский «И возвращается ветер…» 1978 г. Tyurem.net
-  Many of these scanned documents are available as the "Soviet Archives"(with English lists of titles and contents)]
- The Cold War and the War Against Terror By Jamie Glazov (FrontPageMagazine) July 1, 2002
- Berlinski, Claire. A Hidden History of Evil by Claire Berlinski (City Journal) Spring 2010
- They Chose Freedom, a documentary series by Vladimir Kara-Murza (in Russian).
- Vladmir Bukovsky, Torture's Long Shadow, The Washington Post, 2005.
- Interview with Bukovsky by Paul Belien (2006-02-27.). "Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship". The Brussels Journal.
- "Vladimir Bukovsky", Cato Institute website
- "Council & Supporters", The Freedom Association website
- Paul Belien "Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship", Brussels Journal, 27 February 2006
- "Former Soviet dissident wants Russia split up" (17 October 2007). Russia Today. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky agrees to run for Russian president (Russian), Newsru, 28 May 2007. Computer translation.
- Statement by the Initiative group nominating Vladimir Bukovsky a candidate for Russian Federation president (Russian), Prima News, May 28, 2007. Computer translation.
- Victor Shenderovich and Yuri Shmidt supported the candidacy of Vladimir Bukovsky (Russian), Prima News, June 8, 2007. Computer translation
- Chronicles of nominating Vladimir Bukovsky a 2008 presidential candidate (Russian), Prima News, June 22, 2007. Computer translation.
- On judicial aspects of nominating Vladimir Bukovsky a candidate for president of Russian Federation (Russian), Bukovsky nomination initiative group, July 12, 2007. Computer translation.
- The candidature of Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky nominated for president (Russian), Echo of Moscow, December 16, 2007. Computer translation.
- Bukovsky was on time to submit documents to CEC for registration as a candidate for Russian president (Russian), Newsru, December 18, 2007. Computer translation.
- CEC received documents from Vladimir Bukovsky (Russian), BBC Russian Service, December 18. 2007. Computer translation.
- Soviet dissident Bukovsky pulls out of presidential race, RIA Novosti, 19 December 2007.
- Media spread incorrect information on refusing Bukovsky's run for president (Russian), the official site of the Bukovsky for President Initiative Group, December 20, 2007. Computer translation.
- Supreme Court completely rejected Bukovsky's registration (Russian), Bukovsky's Initiative group, January 15, 2008. Computer translation.
- http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/26/Its-worse-than-a-conspiracy-it%20-s-consensus Why Academics Hate Diana West
- Official Presidential campaign site
- Faces of Resistance in the USSR: V. Bukovsky. The Andrei Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center at Brandeis University
- Dissidents, 1970-1979 contain materials concerning activities, arrests and exchange of Bukovsky
- Voices of Dissent An expose film of alleged human rights abuse presented by Vladimir Bukovsky (2006)
- The Greatest Subversive of Our Times by Michael Ledeen, 29 December 2012)