Mikhail Kazachkov

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Mikhail Kazachkov is vice president of the Human & Civil Rights Organizations of America.

"In 1975, Mikhail Kazachkov sought permission to leave his native Soviet Union. A physicist and a Jew, Kazachkov was arrested and spent the next 15 years in the Gulag - the Soviet Union's longest serving political prisoner. Labeled "The Man in the Window" by New York Times columnist A. M. Rosenthal, Kazachkov emerged in the last years of the Soviet Union as a major international human rights figure.

"Upon his release in 1990, Kazachkov traveled with his mother to the United States where he took up residence and began what he came to call his "third career" (theoretical physicist and Gulag inmate being careers one and two). For much of the 1990s he focused on human rights and political change in his homeland, increasingly traveling back to what had again become Russia. During this period, he was a Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Law School and a Fellow at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

"During the 1990s Kazachkov played a key role in bringing technical advice, political support and financial aid to those in his native land seeking to build democratic institutions. He assisted in the production of over 20 Russian documentaries, aired nationwide, that educated viewers to a variety of human rights issues. He advised the Duma on telecommunications policy, including on how Russia's legislature could establish the equivalent of C-SPAN. He also assisted Russian efforts to accelerate the introduction of the Internet.

"Much of Kazachkov's work occurred under the auspices of not for profit organizations. Most important was Freedom Channel, a U.S. 501 c3 organization which he helped establish and run. Its mission remains the support of Russian media and other groups active in building a civil society.

"In the last few years, Kazachkov has added for profit work to his not for profit activity, serving as a link between Russian entrepreneurs and businesses in the United States and European Union. He has specialized in communication and other advanced technologies, a not incidental link to his "first career" in physics." [1]

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  1. Marshall Strauss, Human & Civil Rights Organizations of America, accessed October 9, 2007.