Updated: April 25, 2024
Name: Solntsev Mikhail Yuriyevish
Date of Birth: December 26, 1962
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: Recognizance agreement
Sentence: punishment in the form of 3 years of imprisonment, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to participation in the work of public religious organizations and associations for a term of 3 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 10 months, a sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 2 years


On March 20, 2019, searches and interrogations of citizens in connection with their Christian beliefs resumed in Magadan. Spouses Mikhail and Oksana Solntsev became new defendants in a criminal case against believers in Magadan, who by this time had already become 13. The investigation believes that they participated in worship services. What do we know about Michael?

Mikhail was born in Novosibirsk in 1962, and a year later he moved to Magadan with his parents. Since childhood he was fond of sports (hockey, football, swimming, skiing). The family often spent weekends in nature: they went hiking, skiing in winter, fishing all year round.

In 1982, Mikhail graduated from the Riga Civil Aviation Flight Technical School and worked as an air traffic controller at Magadan Airport. In 2008, he graduated from the St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation with a degree in air traffic control. Since that time, he has been working as a full-time dispatcher-instructor, training young professionals. He is still fond of fishing and enjoys going out into nature, but with his family.

He and his wife Oksana have been together for over 30 years. Oksana was the first in the family to show interest in the Bible, and it became noticeable. "For a long time I did not understand this passion," admits Mikhail. "But my wife's behavior, which was changing for the better, and communication with fellow believers aroused interest in me as well. I also decided to study the Holy Scriptures. It brought me closer to God." The couple raised a daughter who lives with her family in St. Petersburg. Now Mikhail and Oksana are raising an 8-year-old son.

The criminal prosecution of Mikhail and Oksana was a big blow to the whole family, ruined various plans. Oksana wanted to move to Taganrog to take care of her sick parents, but the recognizance not to leave for both spouses did not allow this. Mikhail hoped to finalize it by the end of the year in order to go on a well-deserved rest, but, being under recognizance not to leave, he could not go to Khabarovsk to get an attestation conclusion. He is unable to continue to work and provide for his family. A law-abiding family does not have the opportunity to lead a normal life.

Case History

After a series of searches in Magadan in May 2018, Konstantin Petrov, Yevgeny Zyablov and Sergey Yerkin were placed in a pre-trial detention center. On the same day in Khabarovsk, Ivan Puyda was searched. He was arrested and then taken 1600 km away to the Magadan pre-trial detention center. The believers spent two to four months behind bars, and then were placed under house arrest. In March 2019, the FSB conducted another series of searches. The number of defendants in the case later reached 13, including six women, including the elderly. The investigator regarded the holding of peaceful worship services as organizing the activities of an extremist organization, participating in it and financing it. In almost four years of investigation, the case against 13 believers grew to 66 volumes. It went to court in March 2022. At the hearings, it became clear that the case was based on the testimony of a secret witness - an FSB informant who kept secret records of peaceful worship. In March 2024, the believers were given suspended sentences from 3 to 7 years.