Sergey Melnikov has been in custody in Ussuriysk (Primorye Territory) since June 5, 2019.
He was born in 1973 in the village of Terney, located near the Sea of Japan (Primorsky Krai). He has an older sister. As a child, he loved to play hockey and volleyball. He worked in various specialties: a carpenter-machine operator, a firefighter, a sailor of the fishing fleet, a janitor. Actively engaged in fitness.
In addition to his native Terney, he lived in Vladivostok for some time, and in 2003 his spiritual quest led him to Ussuriysk. There, Sergey deeply engaged in the study of the Bible and since then has been striving to live in accordance with its commandments.
In 2019, Sergey ended up behind bars because of his religious beliefs. He was detained right during a conversation on biblical topics.
Intelligence officers gained access to telephone conversations of Sergey Melnikov from Ussuriysk, which he conducted from April to June 2018. Later, they introduced agent provocateur Konstantin Belousov, who asked Sergey to tell him about the Bible. In June 2019, the believer was detained in his own car. Investigator E. S. Marvanyuk charged him with organizing the activities of an extremist organization, and later investigator V. V. Golsky reclassified the charge to participation in the activities of an extremist organization. The believer spent 122 days in a pre-trial detention center, 145 days under house arrest and then was placed under recognizance agreement. The prosecutor returned the case for further investigation. In the summer of 2020, the case was submitted to the Ussuriysk District Court of Primorsky Krai. On February 3, 2022, Judge Dmitry Babushkin sentenced Sergey Melnikov to 3 years of suspended sentence. The appellate court upheld this verdict in May 2022. In December of the same year, the Court of Cassation of Ussuriysk upheld the verdict.