Updated: May 28, 2024
Name: Burenesku Vasily Vasilyevich
Date of Birth: September 6, 1958
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years 4 months of imprisonment, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of public organizations for a period of 3 years, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 3 years 6 months


On February 15, 2019, one of the most massive and inhuman operations against believers took place in Surgut and several other cities of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. 7 people reported torture, 3 people were in custody for a long time, and the total number of defendants in criminal cases exceeded 20. One of them is Vasile Burenescu. What do we know about him?

Vasily was born in 1958 in the city of Balti (Moldova). His father left the family early, and his mother had to work so hard that for several years the boy lived in a boarding school. Only on weekends he returned home to his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, with whom he loved to spend time. As a teenager, he was fond of athletics and weightlifting, loved fishing. After graduating from school at the age of 16, he got a job as a car mechanic.

In 1977, Vasily married Natalia, they had a daughter, Irina. A year later he was drafted into the army. In 1984, the second child was born in the Burenescu family - son Vasily. In search of work, the family had to change more than one place of residence: Murmansk, Pechora, Inta, Ukhta, Arkhangelsk, Surgut. He worked in the field of trade, as well as a loader.

When Vasily was 42 years old, he began to have many difficult life questions, the answers to which he found in the Bible. He was particularly struck by the verse from Psalm 37, which says that the righteous will never be abandoned and his descendants will not ask for bread. He began to think about who the righteous is and how to become one. The wife and children hold a different faith, but this has never been a cause for discord in their family - everyone respects each other's choices.

Looking back, Vasily notes that the most difficult time in his life is behind him - he was able to cope with alcohol addiction, which disrupted his family happiness for 12 years. To date, 61-year-old Vasily suffers from constant pain, limited in movement. He was awarded the III degree of disability.

His wife, Nataliya, has a negative attitude towards the fact that the country's authorities are prosecuting her husband as an extremist. She believes that he is not doing anything criminal, but only practicing his religion.

Case History

In February 2019, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against 18 men and 1 woman from Surgut (among them was a man mistaken for a Jehovah’s Witness). Their homes were searched. During the interrogations, 7 believers were subjected to violence. Artur Severinchik was sent to a pre-trial detention center for 29 days, and Yevgeny Fedin and Sergey Loginov - for 56. Timofey Zhukov was illegally placed in a psychiatric hospital for 14 days. Believers complained about the use of torture to the Investigative Committee, the ECHR and the Commissioner for Human Rights, a press conference was held with the participation of human rights defenders, but none of the security forces was ever brought to justice. In October 2021, the case materials were submitted to the court. The prosecutor requested imprisonment for the defendants for a term of 3 years and 3 months to 8.5 years in prison, and for Loginov - 9.5 years, which was the most severe request for punishment for believing in Jehovah God in modern Russia.