Author and Soviet-era political dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has joined the Cato Institute as a senior fellow.
"Vladmir personifies the struggle for freedom that animates the Cato Institute's mission," said Cato founder and president Ed Crane. "Not only is he an exceptional political mind and writer, but he is a stark reminder that people have been and will continue to be imprisoned for their political beliefs unless advocates for freedom speak out. We are happy to have him associated with Cato."
In his new capacity at Cato, Bukovsky will continue to write and speak on his experiences fighting Soviet tyranny, and about the dangers of repressive regimes.
Bukovsky spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and forced-treatment psychiatric hospitals as punishment for his anti-communist activities. He later smuggled documents out of Russia and has worked to preserve archives on Soviet brutality. He has written several books about his experiences, including To Build a Castle (1978), Soul of Man Under Socialism (1979), and Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility (1987).
Though he settled in Cambridge, England, in 1976, Bukovsky visited Moscow after the fall of communism in 1991, and has remained an outspoken voice for democracy there. His more recent writings have criticized former President Vladimir Putin for trampling the Russian constitution and aggressively expanding his own political power.
Bukovsky was a founder of Committee 2008, whose mission was to ensure a free and fair Russian presidential election. He gained widespread support as a presidential aspirant himself, though his candidacy ultimately was not certified by the pro-Kremlin Central Election Commission.