The New York Times: Foes of Russia Say Child Pornography is Planted to Ruin Them

Mr. Bukovksy's trial on child pornography charges was stayed in Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, 12 February. 

Mr. Bukovsky, 75, denies five counts of making indecent images of children, five of possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

The trial had been fixed for the third time at Cambridge Crown Court when Judge Gareth Hawkesworth granted the application to stay proceedings on Monday.

Judge Hawkesworth told press: “I’m quite satisfied that due to the continued deterioration in his health… when it came to the moment whether Mr Bukovsky should or could give evidence we would be faced with a wholly impossible situation. It wouldn’t be fair to try the man in those circumstances."

Statement from Mr. Bukovsky's attorney

Maia Cohen-Lask, representing Mr Bukovsky, said in a statement released after the hearing:

“Vladimir Bukovsky has always strongly denied the allegations against him, and continues to do so. He has spent the last three years of his life fighting these charges. However, today’s judgment recognises that he is simply far too ill to be able to participate in the trial process and defend himself effectively. This is the right outcome in circumstances where no trial of Mr Bukovsky, given the state of his health, could have been a fair one.”

Read the full articles in the Daily Mail and the Express & Star

Elizabeth Childs
President, Bukovsky Center
San Francisco
+1 510-547-2589

1 November 2017: Mr. Bukovsky is a signatory of the statement by nearly 40 former political prisoners declaring the Russian government's monument to victims of repression in the Soviet era hypocritical, "pretending that acts of political repression are a thing of the distant past."

24 July 2017: Mr. Bukovsky's trial in Cambridge Crown Court has been postponed to 12 February 2018 because of his very poor health.

To Build A Castle Now Available for Kindle

Bukovsky's international bestselling memoir of his time in Soviet prisons, To Build a Castle, is now available for Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. (The first chapter is online here.)

The author has chosen to forego making any money on the e-book. His goal is to make his international bestseller available to the most readers for the lowest price, because of his story's parallels and relevance to events in Russia today.

When To Build a Castle debuted in 1978, Ronald Reagan told his radio audience, "This book is important." Today, Russian activists Garry Kasparov and Pussy Riot are among those declaring the book worth reading in 2017 on its Amazon page

Download it now, or read the first chapter online.


Putin believes his mission is to restore the Soviet system as soon as possible. It leads him to repeat the same mistakes.
— Vladimir Bukovksy, on why he chose to give away To Build A Castle on Kindle
"Sometimes ironic, sometimes detached, sometimes written in cold fury, but always compelling." —The New Yorker

"This is a landmark book and a human document that remains vital." —Sir Tom Stoppard, Oscar-winning screenwriter of Shakespeare in Love

"Vladimir Bukovsky has written an extraordinary account of his life in the Soviet Union.... Listen closely." — The New York Times

"A huge story we must not forget. Even inside prison, a revolt of the mind is possible." —Masha Alyokhina, co-founder of the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot, who read To Build a Castle while serving time as a political prisoner

"This book is important."
—Former US President Ronald Reagan

"If human bravery were a book, it would be To Build a Castle. Bukovsky's memoir serves as testimony to the horrors of totalitarianism, a reference manual of the Soviet gulag during the Brezhnev years, and an unforgettable tribute to the courage of dissidents like Bukovsky. Unfortunately, the book is a reminder we still very much need today, when Western moral equivalence would have us believe that such monsters no longer exist. They do, and To Build a Castle is an essential guide to understanding them, and how to fight them." —Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation

trial news and commentary

Bukovsky's ongoing trial for child pornography found on his home computer has been delayed until July.

Courtroom specifics are kept up to date on the Trial page. Email to be added to our mailing list for updates as new details arrive. Follow updates on Twitter at @bukovskycenter.


Email for contacts related to the trial.

 Photo by Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Photo by Andrew Testa for The New York Times

PRESS Archive

What can you tell them in a skimpy leaflet, or even via all the radio stations of the Soviet Union? They know, my friend. They keep quiet because they know, not because they don’t know. Can you blame them?
— "The Soul of Man Under Socialism"


National Review - Did Britain fall into Putin's trap in prosecuting Bukovsky?

The Weekly Standard - Crown Prosecution Service's case against Bukovsky seems oddly lacking in skepticism.

The American Spectator - Is Bukovsky's case really against the Kremlin?

Current Events

Russian dissidents called mentally ill - 2007. The practice Bukovsky exposed has been revived.

Bukovsky on Brexit - 2016. Translation of an essay written after the UK's EU referendum for the Ukrainian publication Gordon.

Putin's system will collapse - 2014. Conversation with another former dissident and prisoner, Andrei Sannikov, about unrest in the former Soviet Union. 

The Marxist-Leninist Roots of the European Union - 2013. Interview in Analysis & Review.


A Chronicle of Current Events

The influential 1968-1982 Moscow samizdat journal of dissent, which has been translated to English and put online.

Complete archive of the Chronicle's Bukovsky entries

The New York Review of Books - 1970. "A Letter From Vladimir Bukovsky." Translation of an open letter in which Bukovsky recounts the repercussions in the USSR of the Post's previous article on him.

Chicago Tribune - 1972. "Soviet Union vs. Bukovsky -- The Trial of a Dissident." His trial in Moscow for passing documents from psychiatric prisons to foreign correspondents.

The Economist - 1989. "Better Red than Dead?" Bukovsky's persistent claim that the worldwide disarmament movement of the 80's was funded and orchestrated from the Soviet bloc.

Institute of Modern Russia - 2012. "A Life of Integrity," interview with Bukovsky for his 70th birthday.

Wikipedia - A 16-page, 6,000-word entry with a bibliography of Russian works and 150 footnote references.

Supporters of Vladimir Bukovsky - Links to relevant Russian-language articles.


They Chose Freedom - 2005. A four part documentary on the Soviet dissident movement.

Russian/Chechnya - Voices of Dissent 2006. Bukovsky explains how the Chechen invasion is the continuation of old policies that go back hundreds of years, using staged bombings to justify war.

Parallels, Events, People - 2014. A documentary on the dissident movement and its parallels to the 2011-13 protests in Russia.

The Soviet Story - 2008. A documentary sponsored by the European Parliament's UEN group that looks at collaboration between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union prior to World War II, and contrasts the difference between modern Germany and Russia's view of their own pasts - one shameful, one glorious.

1976. ABC Evening News reports Bukovsky's arrival in Switzerland, on his way to England.

2007. Bukovsky returns to Moscow, says Putin regime targeted Litvinenko and others for legalized murder.