Updated: May 27, 2024
Name: Burkov Mikhail Ivanovich
Date of Birth: September 6, 1983
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 137 day in a pre-trial detention, 266 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years and 1 month of imprisonment to be served in a penal colony of general regime, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to management and participation in the work of public organizations for a term of 4 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year
Currently held in: penal colony No. 14 in Khabarovsk Territory
Address for correspondence: Burkov Mikhail Ivanovich, born 1983, IK No. 14 in Khabarovsk Territory, sh. Mashinostroiteley, 10, g. Amursk, Khabarovsk Territory, Russia, 682643

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Law enforcement officers of the Amur region involved two task forces from Blagoveshchensk to search the homes of civilians from Tynda. In November 2019, Mikhail Burkov was under investigation on charges of organizing the activities of an extremist organization.

Mikhail was born in September 1983 in the village of Araslanovo (Chelyabinsk region) in a large family—parents raised 5 sons and 2 daughters.

As a child, Mikhail loved to plant indoor flowers. In his school years, he was fond of electrical engineering: he repaired tube TVs, household appliances and mechanical watches for his neighbors.

Mikhail graduated from the railway technical school. Mikhail's parents and elder brothers abused alcohol, so at the first opportunity he left home for Tynda, where he still works as a carpenter under the city administration. In his free time, Mikhail likes to help his friends: he fixes refrigerators and washing machines.

When Mikhail began to read the Bible, he was struck by the fact that although it is not a scientific book, it accurately describes the physical laws and information about the earth. At 23, he made the decision to embark on the Christian path.

When Mikhail began to be called in for interrogation, his colleagues were very surprised and said: “This is a mistake, what kind of extremist are you!” Nevertheless, after repeated hearings of the case, the believer received 6 years and 2 months in prison for his beliefs.

Case History

In 2018, in the city of Tynda, FSB agent Nurakov, feigning an interest in the Bible, began attending meetings for worship of Jehovah's Witnesses and collecting information about them. In November 2019, a criminal case was initiated against Sergey Yuferov, Valery Slashchev, Mikhail Burkov and Vladimir Bukin. A wave of searches took place in the city. The men were accused of organizing the activity of an extremist organization and involving others in it. In June 2021, the case went to court. A year and a half later, the believers were sentenced from 6 years and 2 months to 6 years and 6 months in a penal colony. In December 2022, the court of appeal overturned the verdict and sent the case for a new trial, and the believers were released from the pretrial detention center, where they had each spent 2 months. In June 2023, they were again sentenced to a penal colony: Bukin, Slashchev and Yuferov were given 6 years and 4 months each, and Burkov was given 6 years and 2 months. Another court of appeal ruled in August 2023 to uphold this decision. In May 2024, the court of cassation confirmed the verdict for all four Jehovah's Witnesses from Tynda.