In the photo: Konstantin Bazhenov with his wife, May 5, 2021

Served Sentences

Konstantin Bazhenov, Convicted for His Faith, Released From the Colony, but Detained for Deportation

Saratov Region,   Ulyanovsk Region

On 5 May 2021, 45-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov was released on parole from the penal colony in Dimitrovgrad but was sent to the temporary detention center for foreign citizens, as his Russian citizenship was revoked due to criminal prosecution. The believer will be deported to the territory of Ukraine.

Update. On May 7, 2021, the Melekessky District Court of the Ulyanovsk Region in the city of Dimitrovgrad ruled to detain Konstantin Bazhenov in a temporary detention center for foreign citizens for up to 2 months. During this time, he will be deported to Ukraine.

During the period of criminal prosecution, he spent about 15 months in the detention center, 4 months under the ban of certain actions, and 15 months in the colony. The believer's prison term expired on July 5, 2021.

Bazhenov was born in Veliky Novgorod. As a child, he moved to Ukraine with his parents and received citizenship of this country. Later, after starting a family, he settled in Russia. In 2019, Konstantin Bazhenov was sentenced by the Leninsky District Court of Saratov to 3.5 years in prison because of his religion.

On April 22, 2021, Dimitrovgrad City Court of Ulyanovsk Region granted a lawyer's petition for parole to Konstantin Bazhenov.

In January 2021 another Jehovah's Witness from Saratov, Felix Makhammadiev, who was unjustly convicted of extremism and deprived of Russian citizenship, was also deported from Russia after serving his sentence - to Uzbekistan. In both cases, the formal reason for the revocation of citizenship was a conviction under Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code.

Four more Saratov believers, sentenced by Judge Dmitry Larin to imprisonment, are expected to be released in the summer of 2021.

Case of Bazhenov and Others in Saratov

Case History
In September 2019, Judge Dmitry Larin immediately sent 6 Saratov residents to prison for a term of 2 to 3.5 years just for reading the Bible, singing songs and praying. Since 2017, security forces have been conducting covert surveillance of believers. In the summer of 2018, their homes were searched with banned literature planted. While the investigation was underway, they had to go to a pre-trial detention center, under house arrest and under recognizance not to leave. A year later, despite the absence of victims in the case, the believers were found guilty. Upon arrival at the Orenburg colony, 5 out of 6 convicted believers were beaten by the staff of the institution. Mahammadiev was hospitalized, and the rest were placed in a punishment cell for a while. Saratov prisoners of conscience have mastered various professions in prison. In May 2020, Mahammadiev and Bazhenov were stripped of their Russian citizenship and, after their release, deported from Russia. All 6 believers have already served their sentences. In September 2022, the cassation court dismissed the complaint, and the verdict and the appellate ruling were unchanged.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Saratov Region
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:
June 9, 2018
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Saratov Region
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (1)
Court case number:
Case History