Updated: July 15, 2024
Name: Lyakhov Andrey Viktorovich
Date of Birth: January 20, 1978
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement
Sentence: punishment in the form of 2 years 8 months of imprisonment with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 2 years 8 months


Andrey Lyakhov, a former sailor from Primorye, found true friends and became happier thanks to his Bible study. But in March 2022, he was accused of extremism for his Christian beliefs.

Andrey was born in January 1978 in the village of Voznesenka (Primorsky Territory). Later, the family moved to the city of Arsenyev, where his father worked as a truck driver, and his mother worked in education. Andrey has an elder brother. Their younger sister died in 2021.

Due to the fact that his father took Andrey with him on business trips to different cities, the boy fell in love with travel from childhood. He was also fond of photography, went in for sports, loved to swim in the lake, ride a bike and skate.

In 1993, after graduating from the ninth grade, Andrey entered the school, where he received the specialty of an electrician, but due to the economic crisis in the country, he could not find a job in this specialty. Andrey mastered photography and loved this activity. By 2001, he got the profession of a sailor. He went to sea for some time, but left this job, as it was difficult both physically and emotionally. Later, Andrey got a job in a construction company and for about 10 years he was engaged in the repair and decoration of apartments. Andrey loved this job and learned a lot from it.

In 2014, Andrey had to move from the city to the village, where his parents still live. There he got a job as a driver in a local grocery store.

Andrey loves to travel, visit different cities, observe nature. He warmly recalls the time when he watched the endless expanses of water from the side of the ship.

Andrey says: “There were no believers in our family, except for my grandmother. She was born in 1918. During World War II, she ended up in Auschwitz. Remembering this, she always cried. From my grandmother, I learned that the God who created everything exists, and his name is Jehovah. These words touched my heart in a special way and inspired confidence in the Creator. Since then, I have always turned to him for help”. In 2014, Andrey began to study the Bible and two years later he embarked on the Christian path.

Despite the difficulties associated with criminal prosecution, Andrey feels that he has become even closer to God and strengthened his faith.

Case History

In July 2021, Yuriy Ponomarenko’s home was searched in Luchegorsk. The Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against him on suspicion of organizing the activity of an extremist organization. In November of the same year, as part of the Ponomarenko case, another search was carried out - in the home of Oleg Sergeyev. He was charged under the same article. In March 2022, two more defendants appeared in the case - Andrey Lyakhov and Nikolay Dikhtyar were charged with participating in the activity of an extremist organization. In June 2022, the criminal case against the believers went to court. Almost two years later, in May 2024, the believers were given suspended sentences ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 years.