Docked with Cosmos 213. Recovered April 19, 1968 08:10 GMT. Successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK attitude control, automatic rendezvous and docking systems. Both spacecraft recovered, but one was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute line didn't jettison.
After the problems with Cosmos 186/188, the State Commission would not agree to an attempted manned flight. They demanded an incident-free unmanned rendezvous and docking mission first.
Cosmos 212 (7K-OK(A) s/n 8) was accordingly launched on 14 April 1968, followed one day later by Cosmos 213. This time automatic rendezvous and docking went off without a hitch. The spacecraft re-entered on 19/20 April and made the first successful lifting re-entries of the Soyuz series with a soft landing. However one of the spacecraft landed in a storm. On touchdown the parachute lines did not jettison as planned, and the capsule was dragged across the steppes by the wind for several kilometers.
The cosmonauts argued that a pilot aboard would have manually commanded jettison of the lines, but this occurred just a few weeks after Gagarin's shocking death in a MiG trainer crash. A more conservative approach was selected before manned flights could begin. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .