Vladimir Central Prison

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Building of a courthouse in the prison complex

The Vladimir Prison, colloquially known as "Vladimirsky Central" (Russian: Владимирский централ, from "Vladimir Central Prison"), is a prison for dangerous criminals in Vladimir, Russia, about 160 kilometres (100 mi) northeast of Moscow.[1] It was established in 1783.[2] Most are serving a minimum of 10 years, and some are imprisoned for life. This prison is the largest in Russia.

Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the complex served as an infamous prison for political prisoners of the Soviet regime. Among those who perished there was Polish politician Jan Stanisław Jankowski, commander-in-chief of the Estonian army Johan Laidoner, Armenian General and Dashnak Revolutionary Activist Garegin Nzhdeh, Lithuanian Roman Catholic bishop Mečislovas Reinys, Exarch of the Russian Catholic Church archimandrite Klymentiy Sheptytsky and German field marshal Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist.

Francis Gary Powers, a US U2 spy plane pilot shot down on May Day 1960 was imprisoned here until his release in February 1962. Famous Russian inmates here include Stalin's son, Vasily Dzhugashvili, Jewish Refusenik dissidents Natan Sharansky and Yosef Mendelevitch,[3] Ukrainian socialist federalist Serhiy Yefremov, and many others.


  1. ^ "Article". Time Magazine. 3 January 1977. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Reset Delegation Visits Vladimir Prison". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Mendelevich, Yosef (2012). Unbroken Spirit. Gefen Publishing House. p. 267. ISBN 978-965-229-563-7. 

Coordinates: 56°08′30″N 40°25′58″E / 56.141545°N 40.432662°E / 56.141545; 40.432662