Updated: July 22, 2024
Name: Potapova Larisa Valentinovna
Date of Birth: March 21, 1964
Current status: defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1.1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement


Iturup is the largest island in the southern part of the Kuril Islands with a population of less than 7,000 people. Larisa Potapova, a civilian resident of the island, faced criminal prosecution for her faith in the fall of 2023.

Larisa was born in March 1964 in Potsdam (Germany). She has a younger brother. The father is no longer alive.

As a child, Larisa loved to skate. After school, she received the specialty of a seamstress, worked for some time in a garment factory. Later she mastered the profession of a cook and, living in different cities, worked in her specialty in a restaurant, kindergarten, as well as in shipping. Recently he has been working as a watchman, in his free time he likes to take care of home flowers.

At various times, Larisa lived in Ukraine, as well as Volgograd and Vladivostok. In 1996, she and her son moved to her parents in the Kuril Islands. Now the son already has his own family.

Larisa was interested in the Bible as a child, and at the first opportunity in 1996 she began to study it. The woman was struck by the authenticity of this book, especially the fulfilled prophecies. In 2012, Larisa embarked on the Christian path.

Larisa's elderly mother, son and daughter-in-law worry about her and consider her criminal prosecution unfair.

Case History

In November 2023, in the city of Kurilsk and in the village of Reydovo, searches were carried out in the homes of two believing women, one of whom has a minor daughter. The criminal case against Olga Kalinnikova and Larisa Potapova was initiated a month earlier. They were accused of spreading the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Sakhalin region. After 5 months, the believers were also accused of involving a local resident in the activities of a banned organization. The women signed a recognizance agreement. In May 2024, their case went to court. At the first hearing on the merits of the case, the judge recused himself.