Updated: April 12, 2024
Name: Meleshko Vasiliy Vladimirovich
Date of Birth: January 30, 1961
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Time spent in prison: 57 day in a pre-trial detention, 919 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 3 years without deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities with serving a sentence in a correctional colony of general regime with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year
Currently held in: Penal Colony No. 11 in Krasnodar Territory
Address for correspondence: Meleshko Vasiliy Vladimirovich, born 1961, IK No. 11 in Krasnodar Territory, ul. Azovskaya, 4, p. Akhtarskiy, Primorsko-Akhtarskiy r-n, Krasnodar Territory, Russia, 353892

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In the early April morning, security forces raided the house of civilians in the village of Kholmskaya, 60-year-old Vasiliy Meleshko and his wife. Vasiliy was informed that he was accused of extremism for talking about the Bible. In August 2021, in just two sessions, the court considered Meleshko's case and sentenced him to 3 years in prison.

Vasiliy was born in 1961 in the village of Mikhailovskiy (Krasnodar Territory). His father worked on a livestock farm, his mother — in the production of tobacco. In his youth, Vasiliy was fond of radio business. After school he graduated from courses in radio engineering, driver and crane operator. He lived in the villages of Ilskiy and Akhtyrskiy, Krasnodar Territory.

Vasiliy married Zoya in 1981. After about 8 years, the couple began to study the Bible. Zoya became a Christian in 1991. A year later, Vasiliy joined her. What impressed him most was the biblical teaching on the resurrection of the dead.

The spouses have grown-up children — a son and a daughter — who already have their own families. They, like their parents, love Bible truths and live by Christian standards. Family hobbies are fishing and walking in the woods.

Searches in the house of Vasiliy and Zoya and a sudden sentence shook the health of the spouses. Due to constant anxiety and stress, their sleep was disrupted and chronic diseases worsened.

Case History

In April 2021, the house of Vasiliy and Zoya Meleshko from the village of Kholmskaya was searched. A week earlier, the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case against the believer for participating in extremist activities. The security forces interrogated Vasily, and also photographed him against the background of the former worship building and the house at the table in order to “film the crime scene.” In July 2021, Meleshko’s case was submitted to the district court. In just two sessions, Judge Mikhail Ostashevskiy considered the case and sentenced the believer to 3 years in a general regime colony. In October of the same year, the appeal upheld the verdict, and in December Meleshko arrived at the colony to serve his sentence. The Court of Cassation upheld the decisions of the lower courts in June 2022.