Updated: May 24, 2024
Name: Gadrshina Yelena Anatoliyevna
Date of Birth: May 6, 1958
Current status: defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement

Biography

In the Soviet years, Yelena Gadrshina led an active social life, dreaming of a happy society. Later, she learned the Bible's teaching that a better life is possible for people. In 1999, the woman followed her daughter on the Christian path, but 24 years later she faced criminal prosecution for her faith.

Yelena was born in May 1958 in the village of Bazarny Syzgan, Ulyanovsk Region. She has a younger sister. Their father worked as a locksmith in a factory, and their mother worked in a cinema.

In childhood and adolescence, Yelena was fond of skiing. After school, she graduated from the Zhiguli Radio Engineering College with a degree in Radio Equipment Technology, as well as accounting courses. All her life, until her retirement, she worked as an accountant.

In 1980, Yelena got married. She lived in Togliatti, Izhevsk, Pokrovsk (Yakutia), and later moved to the village of Vyselki (Krasnodar Territory). In warm climate, she especially enjoys gardening and growing flowers. Yelena's husband works as a driver, enjoys fishing and helps his wife in the garden. He does not share his wife's religious views, but the couple have a good relationship.

Yelena's relatives are surprised that she is being persecuted for her beliefs, and consider it absurd. They support the believer and hope that the criminal prosecution will stop.

Case History

Yelena Gadrshina is one of the residents of the village of Vyselki, whose house was invaded by the security forces during mass searches against Jehovah’s Witnesses in February 2022. In June 2023, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against her on charges of participating in the activities of an extremist organization. Six months later, the case went to court. The accusation is based on the testimony of a secret witness under the pseudonym “Pastyr” (the Russian for shepherd) who secretly recorded the services of Jehovah’s Witnesses on video. His testimony appears in six other similar cases.