Updated: May 20, 2024
Name: Kobelev Sergey Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: December 2, 1975
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years of imprisonment, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership in the work of public religious associations and organizations for a period of 2 years and 10 months, with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year, the sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 5 years


Faith in Jehovah God again and again becomes the reason for searches and arrests of peaceful Russian citizens. Among them was Sergey Kobelev - a criminal case was opened against him and his mother, they were included in the list of extremists of Rosfinmonitoring only because of their participation in worship services and talking about the Bible.

Sergey was born in 1975 in the village of Kurskoye, Primorsky Krai. He has a younger sister. As a child, Sergey studied at an art school for 2 years, and also attended many circles and sections in search of a lesson to his liking.

After school, Sergey learned to be an electrician of a contact network and, after serving in the army, got a job at a railway station - he fixed trains during the change of locomotives. In 2002, he got a job in his specialty, and he still works in it. The management highly appreciates his professionalism and hard work. In 2018, he took second place at the all-Russian competition "The Best Electrician of the Contact Network", and in May 2020 he was recognized as the best inspector of the Far Eastern Railway, as was written about in the local newspaper.

In 1997, Sergey married Lyudmila. They had two children: a daughter and a son. The daughter graduated with honors from the school, the son has good academic performance at school - he often receives letters and gratitude. Also, Sergey himself and his wife were repeatedly noted by the school's gratitude for the excellent upbringing of their son. The family loves to get together to meet friends, relax on the river or the sea, and go skiing in winter.

In 2008, Sergey's father had a misfortune - he lost his leg in an accident. Sergey took his disabled father to live with him.

As in his youth, Sergey has a variety of interests and hobbies. Several times a year he goes fishing, loves to swim in the sea and dive, looking at the underwater world. In the fall, Sergey and his family go to the taiga to collect lingonberries, and in the winter he is engaged in tubing. She dreams of learning snowboarding.

In the 1990s, Sergey became acquainted with the teachings of the Bible. He was impressed by the honesty and sincerity of the people living by Christian standards. Sergey also learned about Bible prophecies that were fulfilled down to the last detail, and how the ancient book of the Bible survived despite attempts to destroy it. In 2007, he decided to devote his life to serving God and became a Christian. Wife Lyudmila shares his position in life.

Sergey shares that the searches and the label of an "extremist criminal" caused stress and intense anxiety in the family. Fear of the future has also been added, since all family accounts are blocked, and the threat of job loss persists. Employees support Sergey and consider the accusations against him far-fetched. Relatives and friends hope that the persecution for the faith will soon end.

Case History

In May 2020, the investigation initiated a criminal case against Yevgeniy Grinenko, a resident of Lesozavodsk. He was accused of organizing the activity of an extremist community. On the same day, the homes of Yevgeniy and three other families were searched, and the believer himself was arrested. Two days later, he was placed in a detention center, where he spent almost 2 months, and then he was transferred to house arrest. Later, new defendants appeared in the case: Svetlana Yefremova, Sergey Kobelev and his mother Galina, whose case was later made into a separate proceeding. In September 2021, the case of Grinenko and the other believers went to court. The case was based on the testimony of an undercover FSB agent, Vladislav Mrachko, who secretly recorded his conversations about the Bible with the believers. In February 2023, the court concluded that the believers were guilty and gave Grinenko and Kobelev a 6-year suspended sentence and Svetlana Yefremova a 3-year suspended sentence. The court of appeal upheld the verdict.