Illustrative photo

Actions of Law Enforcement Officers

Series of Searches in Kursk. One Believer Sent to a Detention Center, Two Others Under House Arrest

Kursk Region

On August 8, 2023, at least 6 addresses were searched in Kursk. Three of Jehovah's Witnesses were detained. On August 10, the Leninskiy District Court of Kursk sent Nikolay Kupriyanskiy and Oksana Chausova (she needs surgical treatment) under house arrest, and her husband, Dmitriy, to a detention center.

The search in the house of 55-year-old Nikolay Kupriyanskiy began at 6 a.m. and lasted about 9 hours. Apparently, a criminal case had been initiated against the believer on suspicion of organizing the activity of an extremist organization (Part 1, Article 282.2 of the RF Criminal Code).

The security forces seized electronic devices, personal photographs and postcards, various translations of the Bible, as well as a large amount of money set aside for the purchase of a plot of land. After the search, Dmitriy was sent to a temporary detention facility, and his wife, as a witness, was taken to the FSB office for interrogation, which was conducted by assistant investigator Aleksandr Gorlov.

Searches also took place at the homes of the married couple Dmitriy and Oksana Chausov, and Oksana's mother. The couple is suspected of participating in the activity of a banned religious organization (part 2 of Article 282.2 of the RF Criminal Code).

The investigative actions were led by  Maksim Zaitsev, FSB investigator for the Kursk Region. The search warrant presented to one of the believers indicated that it was being carried out “in order to find and seize interactive devices with the help of which... persons who are among the target audience of the LRO of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Kursk)... participate in meetings with followers of the organization. The security forces also searched for religious literature in paper and electronic formats and certain “reports from members of the organization on the work done to improve themselves and disseminate the ideology of the religious teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses into the masses.”

Zaitsev had previously investigated a criminal case against Andrey Andreyev and four other believers from Kursk (the case had been initiated in 2019 and the defendants have already served their sentence).

The case of Kupriyanskiy and others in Kursk

Case History
In August 2023, the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were searched in Kursk. An FSB investigator opened a criminal case against Nikolay Kupriyanskiy and spouses Dmitriy Chausov and Oksana Chausova. All three were detained. They were accused of organizing the activities of an extremist community and participating in it. Dmitriy was sent to a pre-trial detention center, and later, like Nikolay and Oksana, under house arrest. The Chausovs were separated due to a ban on communication. In June 2024, the case went to court.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Kursk Region
Suspected of:
"acting in conditions of strict secrecy in order to avoid exposure and suppression of his criminal activities by law enforcement agencies and state security agencies, continues to convene collective meetings of members of this organization and other followers of the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses in the territory of Kursk and the Kursk region" (from the decision to initiate criminal proceedings)
Court case number:
July 3, 2023
Current case stage:
trial in court of first instance
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2), 282.2 (1)
Court case number:
Court of First Instance:
Курский областной суд
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Дядюшева Маргарита Юрьевна
Case History