National Security & Defense

The Corner

Ildar Dadin: A Name, and Man, to Know

Many of our readers will want to know about a case in Russia. It is that of Ildar Dadin, a political prisoner. He has the unwelcome distinction of being the first to be imprisoned under a Draconian new law: Article 212.1 of the Russian Civil Code, which effectively forbids repeated protests of the government without the permission of that government.

Russian democrats point out that Article 212.1 is in clear violation of the Russian constitution, adopted in 1993. This is the sort of point that makes dictatorships laugh.

Dadin has been tortured, and he got word out to his wife that he feared they would kill him. For 37 days, he was missing. That is, his family didn’t know where in the prison system he was. They feared the worst, understandably. Just yesterday, he resurfaced (in a penal colony of the Altai region, in southern Siberia).

I have talked with Dadin’s wife, Anastasia Zotova, and with others who have knowledge of the case. You can read about it on the homepage, here.

Obviously, we Americans are having a debate about policy toward Russia. But whatever a person’s policy view, he should not be blind to the nature of Vladimir Putin’s rule. We tend to read about his behavior abroad, for good reason. We may read less about his behavior at home.

But men and women such as Ildar Dadin have a lot to say to us. Putin and his regime do not want you or anyone else to hear it — which is why they shut these people up, sometimes by means of killing them.

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