Mikhail Petrovich Kazachkov was born on December 7, 1944 in Moscow, grew up in Leningrad. In 1966 he graduated from the Physics Department of LSU in the Department of Theoretical Physics and until 1975 worked in the theoretical department of the Physics and Technology Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences named after A. F. Ioffe in Leningrad. He has published 18 articles and reports, two thirds of them abroad in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
He was arrested by the Leningrad Region KGB on October 21, 1975, 10 days after submitting documents to travel abroad for permanent residence, and sentenced by a closed court to 15 years of strict regime under Article 64, etc. The Criminal Code of the RSFSR. In custody, he was additionally sentenced to 3½ years with a total term of 18½ years. In November 1990, he was released by a personal decree signed by Boris Yeltsin and, just 20 days before the expiration of the 15-year term, he was released from Chistopol prison as the last, as far as is known, political prisoner of the USSR.
In January 1987, from the punishment cell of the Mordovian political zone, he filed an application for a decision to retain citizenship. Before the presidency of Vladimir Putin, he retained Russian citizenship. Since February 2000, Kazachkov has dual citizenship of the Russian Federation and the United States. Since January 1992, he has been married to an American citizen.
In July 1991, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RSFSR abolished "treason to the Motherland" and a number of other articles and episodes of the charge for lack of corpus delicti (3½ years of additional prison term were canceled by the Prosecutor's Office of the RSFSR on the same grounds a year earlier, during the period of imprisonment).
At the end of December 1990, he went abroad on a lecture trip. In February 1991, after the broadcast of the program "The Fifth Wheel" dedicated to his case, he became the object of public threats of a new criminal prosecution from the UKGB LO, in connection with which he postponed his return to the USSR.
In 1992, he co-authored the book "How to Survive in a Soviet prison", in which he owns the legal chapters. In the same years, his essays were published in the magazines "Friendship of Peoples" and "The Art of Cinema".
In 2021, his autobiographical book "___" was published in the Russian-language publishing house in Switzerland Sandermoen Publishing.
One of the main motives for the arrest was the KGB's intention to plunder the state-protected collection of Russian paintings started by Kazachkov's parents and doubled by him after his father's death. The widow became the owner of the collection, and her son became its official keeper. Acting in this capacity, Kazachkov from the KGB detention center cell secured the transfer of the lion's part of the collection — about 80 items of storage — to the Russian Museum and the Hermitage, preventing its plunder. The catalog of the Russian Museum indicates that the works of his collection "came from the collection of Kazachkov in 1977 through the UKGB LO." In retaliation, the KGB provided him with the maximum possible term of imprisonment on a strict regime.
After the death of Kazachkov's mother at the age of over a hundred years, he is her sole heir both by law and according to her will, and therefore the rightful owner of the painting collection.
Currently, legal efforts are continuing to return the collection both within the Russian jurisdiction and in the US courts. Today it is estimated at a modest eight-digit figure in US dollars.
Life and work in the USA In 1991-92 and 1992-93 academic years Mikhail Kazachkov was an employee of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School; from 1993 to 1997 — the Center for International Communications at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He became the author and editor of a number of publications, including those prepared for state bodies of the Russian Federation. In the winter of 1992-93, he created Freedom Channel, Inc., a non-profit American corporation with a mixed Russian-American board of directors, to work in Russia. Freedom Channel's main field of activity is television. Kazachkov has aired more than 20 documentary programs in the Russian national broadcast, filmed from Vorkuta to Brazil. His Freedom Channel received the Soros Foundation Award for the best television work of the first State Duma election campaign. He also held two conferences "Television and Politics" in Moscow; advised the State Duma on the creation of its radio and TB service; He prepared an alternative policy of the Russian Federation in the field of communications for the World Bank and organized an international conference in Moscow to promote it. He was the founder of the Russian Institute of Information Society, which has been successfully operating to this day. Since 1996, he has been acting as a business consultant in the commercial sphere, primarily in the field of electronic media, telecommunications, high technologies, intellectual property and problems of globalization. While it was productive, I was engaged in bringing Russian intellectual property to world markets. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors of GIST, Inc., which published weekly for professional business audiences information about the development of information and telecommunications markets in Russia and the CIS, Eastern Europe, as well as Latin America and China. The company was one of four participants in the consortium led by Arthur Andersen, which prepared for the privatization of 25% minus two shares of SvyazInvest holding.