Updated: May 17, 2024
Name: Nikulina Elena Anatoliyevna
Date of Birth: August 18, 1968
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1.1)
Time spent in prison: 144 day in a pre-trial detention, 487 day in prison
Sentence: punishment in the form of 4 years 2 months of imprisonment in a penal colony of general regime, with restriction of liberty for 1 year 2 months
Currently held in: Penal Colony No. 2 in the Republic of Mordovia
Address for correspondence: Nikulina, Elena Anatoliyevna, born 1968, IK No. 2 in the Republic of Mordovia, ul. Chernorechenskaya, 1, pos. Yavas, Zubovo-Polyanskiy r-n, Republic of Mordovia, Russia, 431160


In 2019, several residents of Saransk, including Elena Nikulina and her husband, Georgiy, were prosecuted for their faith. Law enforcers considered the conversations about the Bible to be participation in the activities of an extremist organization.

Elena was born in 1968 in the village of Monastyrskoe (Mordovia). She has a younger sister. The parents are long dead. As a child, Elena was fond of cross-country skiing and sewing.

After school, Elena studied to be a dressmaker and cutter. In search of work, she moved to Saransk and Tolyatti. She worked as a seamstress at various enterprises, was engaged in cleaning the premises. In his spare time, he likes to sew, take care of cats and be in nature.

In 2016, Yelena married Georgiy, whom she calls a “jack of all trades”—he has 9 specialties as a handyman. According to Yelena, they lived for 13 years without registering a marriage, until they learned from the Bible how important it was. In this book, they also liked the fact that God is not indifferent to the suffering of people.

Because of the criminal prosecution, the Nikulins lost their jobs and lost their livelihood. Relatives cannot understand why these peaceful and law-abiding people were sentenced to real terms of imprisonment. In court, Elena emphasized: “We . . . do not pose a danger either to the state and authorities, or to others. We respect the laws and rules established by the authorities, we try to work honestly and conscientiously.”

Case History

In February 2019, in Saransk, the FSB opened a criminal case against three believers on suspicion of extremism. After mass searches, Vladimir Atryakhin, the father of two young children, as well as Alexander Shevchuk and Georgy Nikulin ended up in a pre-trial detention center, where they spent from 2 to 5 months. Later, 3 more defendants appeared in the case - Alexander Korolev, Elena Nikulina and Denis Antonov. The case went to court in May 2021. The defense managed to show the court several times that the declassified witness Vlasov was giving false testimony. In August 2022, the believers were convicted: Vladimir Atryakhin was sentenced to 6 years, Georgy and Yelena Nikulin — 4 years and 2 months each, and Aleksandr Shevchuk, Aleksandr Korolev and Denis Antonov — 2 years in prison. The appeal upheld the verdict. In November 2023, Aleksandr Shevchuk was released from the colony.