Updated: July 12, 2024
Name: Zotov Konstantin Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: April 22, 1982
Current status: accused
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1), 33 (3)


In the early 2000s, Konstantin Zotov served in hot spots and was actively involved in counter-terrorist operations in Chechnya and Ingushetia. However, today he was equated with extremists and was charged with a criminal case for believing in God.

Konstantin was born in April 1982 in the mountainous Ural city of Zlatoust (Chelyabinsk region). He has a younger brother. As a child, Kostya was fond of soccer and skiing. After school, he graduated from the school as a car mechanic. Recently, he has been working in the field of maintaining cleanliness and order in the streets of the city and is working as a courier. At leisure, he writes poems, reads books and communicates with friends.

Konstantin first heard about the Bible as a child from his father and grandmother. They were touched by the logic of the Bible teachings and the opportunity to develop friendship with God. However, the boy did not join his relatives, who took the Christian way in 1993. He liked to communicate with people who do not share high moral values. He developed bad habits, and later decided to join the army in an effort to fight.

Before leaving for a hot spot in Vladikavkaz, Konstantin had a conversation with Jehovah's Witnesses. It excited him with warm memories of how God had answered his prayers and helped him. "I decided that if I return alive, I will definitely resume Bible study and get my life in order: I will quit smoking and other bad habits to please my God. That's exactly what happened," remembers the believer.

In the Altai, Konstantin met his future wife Victoria, who shares his spiritual values. In 2013 they got married and moved to the city of Beryozovsky, Sverdlovsk region, to take care of Konstantin’s sick mother, who has the 3rd group of disability. Victoria works as a massage therapist. She loves to cook and play the guitar.

Criminal prosecution severely undermined the health of the spouses. There were many shocks in Konstantin's life already. In the early 90's, armed bandits broke into the relatives where he was visiting. A 10-year-old boy was held hostage at gunpoint while the owners were writing off the apartment to the raiders. His participation in the hostilities, and later the severe accident, seriously affected his emotional and physical condition. Zotov's parents experienced another shock: this time due to unfair charge.

The search, interrogation, and criminal case destroyed Konstantin's reputation as a good and responsive colleague. At work, the attitude towards him has changed dramatically: he feels cold and distrust in the team. But Konstantin is sure that he will overcome everything with God's support.

Case History

In October 2020, the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Sverdlovsk Region opened a criminal case against Konstantin Zotov and Natalia Kochneva from the city of Berezovsky. Shortly thereafter, a series of searches took place in the homes of 10 believers. In September 2021, the investigation brought in 5 more believers as defendants - Kristina Gruzdeva, Valentina Kugukov, Alexandra Zakharova and the Fokin spouses, Stanislav and Marina. In October, another criminal case was opened against Zotov. In March 2022, a new version of the charge was brought against Konstantin — the believer is being persecuted under several articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation at once.