Updated: July 19, 2024
Name: Shalev Valeriy Anatoliyevich
Date of Birth: September 23, 1977
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 1 day in a temporary detention facility, 243 day in a pre-trial detention, 91 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years 6 months of imprisonment, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of religious organizations, for a period of 4 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year; The sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 5 years


Valery Shalev is one of 5 Smolensk believers who ended up behind bars in April 2019 because of their religious views. The criminal prosecution lasted almost 2 years. During this time, Ruslan spent about 8 months in a pre-trial detention center and 3 months under house arrest. After a year of legal proceedings, the believer was found guilty. In April 2021, the court sentenced him to 6.5 years of suspended imprisonment with a probation period of 5 years, 1 year of restriction of liberty and a ban on holding positions in religious organizations for a period of 4 years.

Valery was born in 1977 in Yartsevo (Smolensk region). Since childhood, he read a lot, studied English, loved popular science TV shows, and also went in for sports. He graduated from the Yaroslavl Military Institute of Finance and Economics and went to the Far East to work as a military financier.

While studying at the university, Valeriy's mother shared biblical knowledge with her son. At first, Valery tried to prove them wrong, but later realized that his mother was right: the Bible is the truth. Thus began Valery's acquaintance with the Holy Book.

In 1999, Valery married Svetlana, whom he met while still a student, and adopted her 4-year-old son. For some time the family lived in Khabarovsk, where Valery did his military service. After his discharge from the army, he worked as a chief accountant for several companies, and more recently as a financial consultant and hiring specialist. Valeriy is still actively involved in football and running, improving his knowledge of the English language. Svetlana works as a manicure instructor, and in her free time she likes to make gifts for friends.

Valeriy's relatives and friends are perplexed by the fact that such law-abiding and decent people like him have begun to be persecuted in Russia. They sincerely hope for a positive outcome of the case.

Case History

In April 2019, Jehovah’s Witnesses from Smolensk—Ruslan Korolev, Valery Shalev, and Viktor Malkov—were sent to jail. The day before, searches were carried out in their homes. Yevgeny Deshko was detained in Dagomys (Krasnodar Territory) as the fourth suspect in this criminal case. The believers spent 4 to 8 months in jail and another 3 to 7 months under house arrest. Due to the stress and conditions of detention in the pre-trial detention center, Viktor’s heart problems worsened, and he died without waiting for the trial. The criminal case under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was investigated by the FSB of Russia in the Smolensk Region. In the Industrial District Court of Smolensk, the prosecutor asked Judge Marina Masalskaya to send Shalev and Deshko to jail for 8 years, and Korolev for 9 years for discussing Christian teachings. In April 2021, a judge found them guilty, but sentenced them to suspended imprisonment ranging from 6 to 6.5 years. In August 2021, the Court of Appeal approved the punishment for the believers. The cassation court upheld the decisions of the lower courts.