The case of Voronchikhin and Others in Simferopol

Case History

In November 2022, mass searches of believers took place in the Simferopol district of Crimea. Aleksandr Voronchikhin was interrogated and signed a recognizance agreement. The Investigative Committee accused him of organizing the activities of an extremist organization, calling peaceful worship a crime. In August 2023, new searches took place in Armyansk, Simferopol and Saki, including at the home of Voronchikhin’s son-in-law, Dmitry Zakharevich. He and several other believers became suspects in the case. Later, their case was separated into separate proceedings.

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    November 17, 2022 Case initiated

    Investigator of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation V.A. Novikov initiates a criminal case against several Jehovah's Witnesses from Crimea. According to the investigation, they committed "active actions of an organizational nature, expressed in the organization of propaganda meetings, at which discussions were held on the texts and religious provisions of Jehovah's Witnesses."

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    December 8, 2022
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    January 11, 2023 Search

    Aleksandr Voronchikhin and Dmitriy Zakharevich are filing an appeal against the court's decision to allow a search of their home.

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    May 15, 2023

    The case against Victor Mani is separated into a separate proceeding, and later new defendants appear in it.

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    August 14, 2023 Search Recognizance agreement House arrest Case initiated Prosecution of several family members Interrogation

    In three cities of Crimea — Armyansk, Simferopol and Saki — searches are being conducted in 9 houses of believers.

    Investigator Novikov involves Dmitry Zakharevich and Alexander Kopylets as defendants in the criminal case.

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    August 16, 2023 House arrest Search Interrogation

    Zakharevich and Kopylets were placed under house arrest.

    Several other Jehovah's Witnesses are being searched.

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    November 30, 2023 House arrest Recognizance agreement

    The measure of restraint in the form of house arrest for Dmitry Zakharevich and Alexander Kopylets is extended until December 11, 2023. Alexander Voronchikhin and Ekaterina Demidova were chosen as a preventive measure in the form of a written undertaking not to leave and proper behavior.

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    February 26, 2024 Return of the case to prosecutor

    The Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea makes a decision on the appeal of the prosecutor and the appeal of the defender against the decision of the Simferopol District Court to return the criminal case to the prosecutor, initiated by the same court. The appeal upheld this ruling. The case must be returned to the prosecutor in order to remove obstacles to its consideration.

    The house arrest of A. Kopylets and D. Zakharevich has been extended until April 26, 2024.