Photo source: broker /

Criminal Investigation and Trial

All Three Believers in Kamchatka Released

Kamchatka Territory

Konstantin Bazhenov, who had been in pre-trial detention since August 21, 2018, was released on August 29. The court decided not to choose any measure of restraint for him, but the criminal case against him was not closed.

41-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov was detained in Yelizovo (Kamchatka Territory) during searches. Together with him in the temporary detention center were his wife Snezhana Bazhenova and 71-year-old Vera Zolotova. On August 24, both women were also released, but the investigator chose a measure of restraint for them in the form of a written undertaking not to leave as part of a further investigation.

All three believers are charged with organizing extremist activities. Law enforcement officers bring such an accusation against believers throughout the country without evidence.

Case of the Bazhenovs and Others in Yelizovo

Case History
In 2018, in Yelizovo, Snezhana and Konstantin Bazhenov, both teachers, as well as widowed pensioner Vera Zolotova, were detained, their houses were searched, and a few days later they had to sign a recognizance agreement. The Investigative Committee equated the holding of joint meetings for worship to illegal activity. In September 2020, the court gave each of them a 2-year suspended sentence. The court of appeal upheld this decision, but the court of cassation returned the case for retrial to the territory court. In January 2022, it acquitted the believers, but the prosecutor’s office achieved that the verdict was overturned in the RF Supreme Court, and the case was returned to the appeal stage, and later the courts of cassation supported the verdict of a 2-year suspended sentence.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Kamchatka Territory
Suspected of:
according to the investigation, together with others he conducted religious services, which is interpreted as “organising the activity of an extremist organisation” (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Court case number:
August 17, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the city of Yelizovo of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Kamchatka Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Елизовский районный суд Камчатского края
Юлия Пискун
Case History