Dina Kaminskaya

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Dina Isaakovna Kaminskaya
Soviet dissidents in Munich.jpg
Yulia Vishnevskaya, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Dina Kaminskaya, Kronid Lyubarsky in Munich, 1978
Native name Дина Исааковна Каминская
Born (1919-01-13)January 13, 1919
Died July 7, 2006(2006-07-07) (aged 87)
Falls Church, Virginia
Nationality Russian
Citizenship  Soviet Union,  United States
Occupation lawyer
Known for human rights activism with participation in the Moscow Helsinki Group
Movement dissident movement in the Soviet Union
Spouse(s) Konstantin Simis
Children Dimitri K. Simes

Dina Isaakovna Kaminskaya (Russian: Ди́на Иса́аковна Ками́нская, 13 January 1919, Yekaterinoslav – 7 July 2006, Falls Church, Virginia) was a lawyer and human rights activist in the Soviet Union who was forced to emigrate in 1977 to avoid arrest. She and her husband moved to the United States. She was born in Yekaterinoslav.

The writer Yuli Daniel engaged Kaminskaya as his lawyer when, in December 1965, he was prosecuted with Andrei Sinyavsky, but the state refused to allow her to speak up in court on his behalf. She went on to defend - as far as the Soviet authorities would let her in a legal system designed as an instrument of Soviet power - Vladimir Bukovsky in 1967. She also defended Yuri Galanskov (who would die in a Soviet labour camp), Anatoly Marchenko (who would also die in camp), Larisa Bogoraz and Pavel Litvinov, and the Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Jemilev.

Kaminskaya was prevented from defending Bukovsky in his 1971 trial and Sergei Kovalyov in 1975. In 1977, after being stripped of her license to practice as a lawyer, she was barred from defending Anatoly Shcharansky. On account of her political defense work Kaminskaya was forced into exile in 1977.[1]

Singer Yuly Kim estimated the efforts and honesty of Dina Kaminskaya and very few other defenders who insisted that there is no any criminal element in actions of their clients accused in anti-Soviet propaganda.[2]

Kaminskaya's book Final Judgment: my life as a Soviet defense attorney translated by Michael Glenny was published in English in 1982.[3][4] In 1984, the book was published in Russian under the title Lawyer's Notes.[5]

The recent publication of Stars of Advocacy[6] qualifies Dina Kaminskaya and Sofia Kallistratova as stars of the legal profession in Soviet Russia.

Kaminskaya was married to Konstantin Simis and they had one son, Dimitri K. Simes. She died in Falls Church, Virginia.


  1. Neurwirth, Jessika (1987–1988). "Address given at the fourth annual international law symposium". Whittier Law Review. 9: 399.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Kim, Yuly. "Удивительная женщина (статья с текстом "Адвокатского вальса")" [Wonderful woman. (An article with the text of Advocatory waltz)] (in Russian). Memorial.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Kaminskaya, Dina (1982). Final judgment: my life as a Soviet defense attorney. Trans. Michael Glenny. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671247395.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Final judgment: my life as a Soviet defense attorney by Dina Kaminskaya". Michigan Law Review. 82 (4): 902–905. February 1984. doi:10.2307/1288692. JSTOR 1288692.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Каминская, Дина (1984). Записки адвоката [Lawyer's notes] (in Russian). Benson, Vermont: Khronika Press.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "ЗВЕЗДЫ АДВОКАТУРЫ", Ежедневные НОВОСТИ (newspaper), Владивосток (in Russian)

Further reading