This is an introduction to
"Bukovsky's "Soviet Archives at INFO-RUSS"
by the INFO-RUSS coordinator, Alexander Kaplan

These arcives are first (and not just on Internet!) publication of "Soviet Archives at INFO-RUSS" by Vladimir Bukovsky. It is a huge collection of documents directly copied from archives of KPSS (former communist party of former Sov Union) including KGB ("Komitet of Gosudarstevennoi Bezopasnosti") reports to its Central Committee.

A sampling of these documents and related political essay will be published by V. Bukovsky in English in 1999 in a book "Judgement Day" or "Reckoning with Moscow", political essay based on his visit to Russia in 1992. During that visit he was invited by the authorities to testify at the trial conducted by the Supreme Court of Russia and intended to determine whether KPSS has been a criminal institution, and the legality of the KPSS in new Russia. To prepare for this testimony, Bukovsky requested and was granted access to large number of documents prepared by the offices of former Central Committee of KPSS and by KGB.

In a short time given him for browsing through the documents, he managed to secretly scan a great deal of documents from that collection, using a hand-held tiny scanner (one of those used for the scanning of a single newspaper column). After he brought back many-many floppy disks with files, each left half-page file should have beed "stitched" with its right twin.

In this new publication on info-russ web-pages, ALL these copies are published for the first time.

The tantalizing job of matching half-page pieces together, systematic arrangement of all the copies and their catalogization, and uploading the resulting files and directories from the personal computer to INFO-RUSS server, is a collective work of three people - V. Bukovsky, L. Chernikhov and Julia Zaks, and took them about two years. My own little help was locating the space for the archive and providing computer support (and daily moral encouragement, of course:-):-).

The initiative of starting this endeavor (of which she most likely regretted many times:-) belonged to Julia Zaks, a "veteran" emigre, whose dissident activity track in Moscow goes back 30+ years. L. Chernikhov who joined the work at a later stage, did a great job on re-organizing the documents according to the subject and cross-referencing it. They did it out of belief "that these "black" pages of Soviet history should be in the public domain"... The e-mail addresses of both of them are found at the home page of the archives.

The full archive space as of right now comes close to 200 Mb.

For those of you who know little about Vladimir Bukovsky, here is his brief bio-sketch (mostly due to KGB sources:-), see section 7.1, Dissidents, documents #0053 and #0082-0086 in that archive).

June 1963 - ct.70-1, organizing "poetry" meetings next
to the Mayakovsky monument in Moscow; sent to psychiatric ward (instead of prison), freed in February 1964;
January 1965 - arrested for organizing a demonstration in defense of Ginzburg, Galanskov and others ( 190-1, 3 years of imprisonment), was freed in January 1970
January 1972 - arrested for contacts with foreign correspondents, distribution of samizdat documents on psychiatric violations, human rights, etc. (70-1, 7 years of imprisonment plus 5 years in exile)
December 1976, while in prison, Bukovsky was exchanged for Chilean communist Lois Karvalan. (A little street joke at the time: "obmenyali huligana na Luisa Karvalana":-)
Since 1976, he lives in Cambridge, England.

Bukovsky is the author of a few books:
"Soul of Man Under Socialism" 1979
"To Build a Castle-My Life As a Dissenter" 1979
"Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility" 1987
political essay based on analyses of the "Soviet Archives" (posted now on INFO-RUSS). It was first published in Russian & French , in 1996 as "Judgement in Moscow" ("Moskovski Process"), and will be available in 1999 in English as "Judgement Day" (US) or "Reckoning with Moscow" (England)

The archive is intended for a very broad audience.

It is for you folks. Come in and look at the "pretty commy-face" without mascara, of the system under which you've been living...

It is for former "dissies" (dissidents...); smell that stale odor of the machinery that tried to mill you down...

It is for academia people: historians, sovetologists, etc. Never too late to learn what was in reality behind the door that used to be convincingly painted by your logical theories...

It is for Russia and the world to remember and to learn. Everybody seems to be so sure this will never happened again; will it not?

To all the users: Feel free to use and copy the archive and/or any portion of it, as long as you acknowledge the source ( "Bukovsky's "Soviet Archives at INFO-RUSS")

Alex Kaplan, INFO-RUSS owner/coordinator sasha@smarty.ece.jhu.edu
go back to "Soviet Archives"
go back to INFO-RUSS server