Updated: July 12, 2024
Name: Kulikov Sergey Ivanovich
Date of Birth: December 15, 1953
Current status: accused
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement

Biography

The home of Sergey Kulikov, a peaceful pensioner from Yoshkar-Ola, was unexpectedly searched. In April 2022, he learned that, together with his оldest son Aleksey, he had become a defendant in a criminal case for believing in Jehovah God.

Sergey was born in December 1953 at the Gigant state-run farm in the Salsky District of the Rostov Region. He has an older brother and a younger sister. Their parents worked in a brick factory. The boy first heard about God from his grandmother who lived with the family.

From early childhood, Sergey loved singing and performing street "concerts" in front of his peers. At the age of 8, he went to music school, and after graduating from it, he enrolled in the Rostov School of Arts. Not having completed his first year, Sergey took his papers and returned home to finish high school there.

After school, the young man served in the army. There he mastered the bass guitar, organized a musical group with which he toured the military units in Germany, participated in social evenings with German musicians. After the army, Sergey worked as a driver, photographer, singing teacher, lathe operator, combine operator, electrician and mechanic.

In 1978, Sergey married Nadezhda, and the following year they had a son and soon after a daughter. In 1984, the family moved to Sverdlovsk, Lugansk Region, where they had another son. At the local market, the couple met Jehovah's Witnesses, and Nadezhda decided to study the Bible. Sergey was skeptical at first.

Because of the smoldering spoil tips, the children began to have health problems, and the Kulikov family moved to Mari El, to the village of Silikatny, where Nadezhda continued to study the Holy Scriptures. Sergey also gradually became convinced that what Jehovah's Witnesses say does not contradict what he read in the Bible. In 1993 he attended the international convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow. This event prompted him to give up bad habits and become one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1994 – two years after Nadezhda. The Kulikovs tried raising their children in accordance with Bible principles.

The search and criminal prosecution greatly affected the life of Sergey and his family. He says: “'My home is my castle', I thought. And then uninvited guests burst into my home... For the first three or four months, I lost control of everything. A malignant tumor developed on my wife's kidney. Her kidney with the tumor was removed in an emergency surgery.” Nevertheless, Sergey tries to maintain a positive attitude and is grateful for the support of fellow believers.

Case History

In April 2022, the FSB initiated a criminal case against Jehovah’s Witnesses from Yoshkar-Ola. Searches were carried out at nine addresses; law enforcement officers used force against one of the believers, Yevgeny Plotnikov. He was arrested and subsequently placed in a detention center. In August 2022, Yevgeny was placed under house arrest, and in October he was placed under a ban on certain activities. From December of the same year, the FSB investigator began making other residents of the city defendants – Sergey Kulikov and his son Aleksey, Eduard Kapitonov and his son Ilya, Igor Alekseyev, Vladimir Usenko and Denis Petrov. The investigator regarded practicing their faith as extremist actions. The believers were made to sign a recognizance agreement.