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Prisoners in a zindan, probably in the Emirate of Bukhara under Imperial Russia. Early color photograph by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, ca. 1910

Zindan (زندان) is the Persian word for "prison" or "dungeon". As a loanword as used in contemporary Russian journalism, and especially in association with the Second Chechen War, зиндан specifically refers to a traditional underground gaol or pit used to imprison hostages or prisoners of war.



  • Hobley, C. W. (1920) "The Tana River". The Geographical Journal, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Oct., 1920), pp. 297-305
  • Donald, D. (1996) Barry Politics and Justice in Russia: major trials of the post-Stalin era (M.E. Sharpe) ISBN 1-56324-344-X