At least six homes of local Jehovah's Witnesses were searched by officers of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on March 20, 2019, in the Crimean towns of Yalta and Alupka. A criminal case has been initiated against believers, citing the article 282.2(1), “Organization of the activities of an extremist organization.” Several persons were detained for interrogation. 34-year-old Artyom Gerasimov was taken to the republican center city of Simferopol.
During the searches, computers and other electronic devices belonging to believers were seized, along with their Bibles. The case is led by FSB investigators A. Lavrov and S. Bosiyev.
Earlier, on November 15, 2018, a major operation against the Witnesses took place in Dzhankoy (Crimea).