Updated: April 19, 2024
Name: Ostapenko Anton Olegovich
Date of Birth: January 12, 1991
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 5 day in a temporary detention facility, 240 day in a pre-trial detention, 61 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: Suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 6 years 3 months, with deprivation of the right to engage in organizational activities in public and religious associations, public or religious organizations for a term of 5 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year and 6 months; The sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 4 years


On April 19, 2019, in the city of Sharypovo (Krasnoyarsk Territory), mass searches and interrogations of citizens whom the authorities consider to be participants in Jehovah's Witnesses worship services took place. Anton Ostapenko was detained as the organizer of such worship services, and the authorities obtained audio recordings of him talking to others on biblical topics. By a court decision, Anton was placed in a pre-trial detention center for at least two months. What is known about this supposedly dangerous criminal?

Anton was born in 1991 in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan. He has an elder sister, and both of them were introduced to the commandments of the Bible as teenagers from their mother. This had a positive effect on the behavior and performance at school, both children repeatedly received certificates and thanks from teachers. Anton was keenly interested in computer science, playing the guitar, attended a circus studio, went hiking.

In 2012, Anton received a diploma from the Siberian Federal University with a degree in thermal power plants, and in the same year he got a job at the Berezovskaya power plant as a crawler of the boiler and turbine shop. However, from 2012 to 2014, he did alternative civilian service in a nursing home for the elderly and disabled, since Christian beliefs did not allow Anton to take up arms. In this institution, he also received the gratitude of the management for conscientious work and personal contribution to the development of the institution.

In 2015, Anton married Nataliya. The couple love to be in nature, and in winter to ski and snowboard. Anton enjoys fishing and playing tennis with friends.

Anton's colleagues at Berezovskaya GRES are amazed by the criminal case initiated against him for their faith, because they know him as a decent person and a responsible employee. Anton's father, who does not share his faith, is outraged by what is happening. "It's lawlessness when believers who have not caused any harm to the state are grabbed," he says. Both parents' chronic diseases worsened due to the persecution of their son, and his mother needed medical attention.

Case History

In April 2019, investigator Yulia Fedynyak opened a criminal case against the power plant driver Anton Ostapenko. Talking about the Bible was equated with organizing extremist activities. Ostapenko was sent to a pre-trial detention center for six months, after which he was transferred to house arrest, and later to recognizance not to leave. After 1 year and 9 months, the case was transferred to the Sharypovsky City Court for consideration by judge Inga Gavritskaya. During the hearings, transcripts of Anton’s prayers were read out, which formed the basis of his accusation. The secret witness for the prosecution “Ivanov” stated that he did not know the defendant personally, and at the services the believers “just gather and sing songs.” The prosecutor asked the court to sentence the believer to 8 years in a penal colony. In October 2021, the court found Ostapenko guilty and sentenced him to 6 years and 3 months of probation with a probation period of 4 years and 1.5 years of additional restrictions. In April 2022, the appellate court upheld this decision.