“How I copied these documents” (V.K. Bukovsky)

In 2008, doubts were cast on the value and, even, the authenticity of the documents copied in Moscow by Bukovsky in the second half of 1992.

This was in part a repetition of the furore in 1992 over the doctoring of a 1973 KGB report to the Politburo about Andrei Sinyavsky. Bukovsky himself responded to the second accusation of fabrication.


If I remember correctly, I had [a] Toshiba notebook (which died long ago and I threw it away), but to which I had to attach a special “creddle” — a device I had to fit under computer, and to which the scanner was attached in its turn. Both the comp and the creddle had separate adaptors. The scanner I still have (although I cannot use it): it is Logitech ScanMan (Type B5N 1706), made in Japan.

Indeed, the hard disc of my notebook was tiny by today’s standards, only 40 MB. So, every evening after scanning the docs in archives, or in the RF Constitutional Court, I had to clear the disc by copying its content to floppies.

Now, [the] hand-scanner is too narrow for the whole page, therefore I had to scan every page at least twice, a half-page in each vertical scanning, and later to “stitch” the halves with a special program: some particularly important docs I scanned three times horizontally. Naturally, for each scan I had to make a separate file. The size of such files usually was 40-60 K, sometimes 100 K depending on the density of the docs. Only some docs with lots of handwriting etc. could be 300-400 K. Besides, I used to zip them with a program called “pkzip” and later in Cambridge unzipped them with the program “pkunzip”. Zipping would typically reduce the file size by 50-70%. Thus, it enabled me to fit the material into about 50 floppies (plus my 40 MB of the hard disc). Just for illustration, I attach one doc with lots of handwriting on it which is only 100 K. Zipping of such file will probably reduce it by only 30%.

I worked throughout the duration of the Court hearings, practically every day for almost half a year. I started in June 1992, shortly before the hearings opened (some material was already selected in 48 volumes before I came), and I ended in December 1992. The pre-selected 48 volumes did not satisfy me and I asked permission to work in the archives of the Central Committee, which were then called “The Center for the Preservation of Contemporary Documentation” [Центр хранения современной документации]. Permission was granted and I got most of the docs there. A special Presidential Commission, chaired by Poltoranin, had to declassify them at my request. Most of my requests were satisfied.

In addition, I managed to photocopy some documents. It was not permitted but, Russia being Russia, I found a way around this restriction.

I don’t know what problem people are having in authenticating the documents. Suffice it to say that ALL OF THEM were accepted by the RF Constitutional Court as material evidence. During the hearings no one, not even the Communist Party side, ever questioned their authenticity. Later, part of those documents were opened to researchers as “Fond 89”. The rest were re-classified. However, quite a few people have seen them in the Constitutional Court. Apart from me, they could be verified by Mikhail Fedotov, and by Sergei Kovalyov, Nikita Petrov and Nikita Okhotin of the Memorial Society, etc. My testimonies in the Court, based largely on these docs, were televised at the time. What else one does need?


The source of this document

“Several years ago Bukovsky was in Israel and I attended one his events: as a souvenir I have a book of his inscribed with his signature.

“The editor of an English-language magazine in Israel regularly conducts an interview with him. I sent the editor a request that he clarify certain technical details. The above is his reply (together with a scanned version of the written text).”

I am embarassed to admit that I am not the author quoted above and I have mislaid the source of this interesting comment. Does anyone know who recorded and published Bukovsky’s words on that occasion?


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