Illustrative photo

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Searches and Interrogations of Local Jehovah's Witnesses Were Again Held in Chuvashia


On June 23, 2021, in the city of Alatyr, located 200 km south of the capital of Chuvashia, Cheboksary, local residents were searched. Security officials suspect them of practicing the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. At least seven believers were interrogated.

At about 7 o'clock in the morning, one of the believers was searched by officers of the FSB of Russia for the Chuvash Republic, investigator R.O. They confiscated a tablet, a photo album, a wooden wall plate with the inscription "Jehovah", personal notes and drawings from the woman.

A search also took place in the house of a married couple under the leadership of FSB Major Dmitry Baranov. Mobile phones were seized from the spouses, the head of the family was interrogated in the FSB department, and his wife was interrogated at home because of the child's illness.

During interrogations of seven believers, law enforcement officers asked whether they were members of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, whether they participated in religious meetings and sermons, whether they made donations; if they know other Jehovah's Witnesses from Cheboksary and from Alatyr.

Alatyr became the second city in the Chuvash Republic, where civilians are persecuted for their faith in Jehovah God.


On September 2, 2021, searches were carried out in the city of Kanash (Chuvashia), located 100 kilometers north of Alatyr. Investigative actions in both cities appear to be conducted within the framework of the same criminal case, which the FSB opened on June 16, 2021 against unidentified persons under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

On August 31, the judge of the Leninsky District Court of Cheboksary, Yevgeny Egorov, having granted the request of investigator Baranov, issued a search warrant in Ivan Elagin's apartment. He was then interrogated. It is known that the interrogation of Ivan Elagin's brother is scheduled for September 6, 2021. It will be conducted by another investigator, A. G. Grigoriev.

The case of Martynov and Others in Alatyr

Case History
In June 2021, the FSB of Russia initiated a criminal case against unidentified persons, and a week later, a series of searches were carried out in Alatyr at the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The family of Andrey Martynov was subjected to investigative actions twice (the first search took place in 2012). The law enforcement officers seized electronic devices, photographs, personal notes, drawings and other items, with inscriptions mentioning the name of God - Jehovah. In April 2022, Andrey and Nina Martynov, Mikhail Yermakov and Zoya Pavlova were charged: the men with organizing the activitiy of an extremist organization, and the women with involvement and participation in it. In July 2022, the case against the believers went to court, and in December of the same year, the court gave the women a fine of 350,000 rubles, and the men a 6-year suspended sentence. After 2 months, the verdict entered into force by the decision of the appellate instance.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Suspected of:
According to the investigation, he "organized religious performances and services, carried out preaching activities in order to spread the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses."
Court case number:
June 16, 2021
Current case stage:
The verdict entered into force
Investigation Department of the Federal Security Service of Russia in the Chuvash Republic
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1.1), 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1)
Court case number:
Court of First Instance:
Алатырский районный суд Чувашской Республики
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Иван Кончулизов
Case History