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General Ivan Stravanovitch Radek (Russian/Kazakh: Иван Страванович Радек, simply known as General Radek) is the overarching antagonist of the 1997 film Air Force One.

He was portrayed by Jürgen Prochnow, who also played Dr. Carl Wessinger in DNA, Sutter Cane in In The Mouth Of Madness, Maxwell Dent in Beverly Hills Cop ll, and Woodsmen in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me..


Ivan Stravanovitch Radek was the military dictator of Kazakhstan, a ruthless Russian warlord and former Soviet officer who wanted to use his nuclear arsenal to retake Russia and create a new Soviet Union (and possibly the world). During his reign, over 200,000 civilians were murdered by his troops. One of his most loyal supporters was Egor Korshunov.

A joint Russian-American military ops team broke into Radek's palace one night, killed all of his guards and captured him. He was flown to Russia by helicopter where he stood trial for crimes against humanity, and was eventually convicted and imprisoned. The masterminds behind his capture were American President Marshall and Russian President Petrov.

Radek's surviving men, however, were determined to see him free and his dream of a new Soviet Russia brought to life. Led by the fanatically loyal Korshunov, five of them (Andrei Kolchak, Sergei Lenski, Igor Nevsky, Boris Bazylev and Vladimir Krasin) hijacked Air Force One and demanded the General's release. Initially, their demands were refused (partly because, at a dinner function mere hours before the hijacking, Marshall gave a televised and well-received speech vowing that America will never negotiate with terrorists), but Korshunov soon had Marshall himself captive, and after he threatened the President's wife and daughter, Marshall finally capitulated and asked Petrov to release Radek.

Petrov agreed, even though he knew it would mean the end of his presidency and possibly the end of a free and democratic Russia, considering how many loyal troops Radek still had at his beck and call, to say nothing of his nuclear arsenal. In reality, Marshall had only asked Petrov to release the General to buy time. While Radek's henchmen celebrated, the American President cut his bonds and freed himself, killing Korshunov and all his remaining men.

Following Korshunov's demise, Marshall managed to race back just in time to call Petrov and told him to cancel Radek's release, as well as kill the dictator if necessary. At the prison, Radek walks out the front gate in full Soviet military uniform to a waiting helicopter, when suddenly a spotlight fell on him. The Russian prison guards yelled for him to stop and a crossfire ensues between them and the loyalist forces. Deciding to make a run of for it, he ran for the aircraft, only to be fatally shot in the back four times by the guards. He dies standing up mere inches from the open helicopter door as loyalist officers tried to grab his uniform sleeves and pull him inside.

Though Radek, Korshunov and his accomplices are dead, a loyalist Atsubinsk base sends in six MiGs to intercept and attack Air Force One in revenge for the oppressive dictator's death, Although they manage to damage Air Force One's controls, rendering safe-landing impossible, six F-15s intervene and eliminate three MiGs in the process. The remaining 3 MiGs retreated away although they manage to shoot down on F-15 Halo Two who sacrificed himself to prevent a MiG missile hitting Air Force One. The base is then presumably given up by the Radek-loyal commander to Petrov, who is implied to have also ordered the commander and the loyalist forces' arrest and trial.



  • The film credits give his first name as Alexander. However, both the movie dialogue and the film's novelization call him Ivan.