Updated: April 19, 2024
Name: Kalin Yaroslav Vasiliyevich
Date of Birth: April 30, 1969
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.3 (1)
Time spent in prison: 1 day in a temporary detention facility, 928 day in a pre-trial detention
Current restrictions: Detention center
Sentence: punishment in the form of 7 years of imprisonment with serving a sentence in a general regime colony, with deprivation of the right to engage in organizational activities in public or religious associations, public or religious organizations for a term of 5 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year 2 months
Currently held in: Detention Centre No. 1 in Irkutsk Region
Address for correspondence: Kalin Yaroslav Vasiliyevich, born 1969, Detention Centre No. 1 in Irkutsk Region, ul. Barrikad, 63, Irkutsk, Russia, 664019

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Yaroslav Kalin, a peaceful family man from Irkutsk, is one of Jehovah's Witnes in the fourth generation. In Soviet times, his parents were exiled from Ukraine to Siberia for their faith. In October 2021, Yaroslav himself was accused of a “crime against the state”.

Yaroslav was born in April 1969 in Siberia, where his parents were exiled during Operation “North” in 1951. Yaroslav has a younger sister. The father and mother worked at the local state farm, kept up the household, therefore, from early childhood, the children were accustomed to work.

In his youth, Yaroslav was fond of sports, loved music and played in a school ensemble. After school, he completed courses as a television mechanic, after that he worked for a long time in the repair of television and radio equipment.

In 1991, Yaroslav married Tatyana. She is a teacher by profession, enjoys interior design, loves to play the piano. The family had four children — two daughters and two sons. Yaroslav had to master different professions: an electrician, a joiner, a carpenter, as well as a manager in the field of trade, in order to provide for his large family.

One of the Kalins' daughters, Svetlana, is a lawyer. The other, Liliya, works in the field of software support. Vasiliy is currently doing alternative civilian service, since his convictions do not allow him to take up arms. In 2007, a great misfortune happened in the family: at the age of four, the youngest son Vitaliy died tragically.

The Kalins and their children loved to spend time together: to go to Lake Baikal, to meet with relatives and friends. The criminal prosecution deprived the wife and children of the support of the head of the family. Everyone experienced an emotional shock.

Relatives and friends, including those who do not share the religious beliefs of the Kalins, cannot understand why Yaroslav was arrested, because he did not commit any crime.

Case History

In October 2021, a series of searches took place in Irkutsk and the Irkutsk region, which were accompanied by pogroms and brutal beatings of peaceful believers. It turned out that Yaroslav Kalin, Sergey Kosteev, Nikolay Martynov, Mikhail Moysh, Aleksey Solnechny, Andrey Tolmachev, and Sergey Vasilyev are suspected of extremism for practicing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). After searches and interrogations, the security forces detained seven men, and soon six of them were sent to a pre-trial detention center, and one was placed under house arrest. After 2 months, law enforcement officers conducted two more searches: in the village of Askiz (Republic of Khakassia) in the home of Denis Sarazhakov and in the city of Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo region) with Igor Popov. Both of them were arrested, taken more than 1500 km to Irkutsk and placed in custody. In December 2022, the case of the believers went to court. In January 2024, the court sentenced them to various terms of imprisonment in a penal colony, from 3 to 7 years, satisfying the prosecutor’s request.