Updated: June 24, 2024
Name: Shevchuk Mikhail Stanislavovich
Date of Birth: November 30, 1986
Current status: accused
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 2 day in a temporary detention facility, 76 day in a pre-trial detention, 93 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: prohibition of certain actions

Biography

Mikhail Shevchuk one of Jehovah's Witnesses in the fourth generation. Just like his father and mother, who were born in exile in Siberia, Mikhail and his younger brother Aleksandr are persecuted for their Christian beliefs. Mikhail was born in November 1986 in the village of Goryachevodsky, Stavropol Territory. From early childhood, he was a kindhearted and diligent child. In his teenage years, he helped his mother sew clothes for sale. In 2005, he graduated with honors from the College of the Pyatigorsk Institute of the North Caucasus Federal University with a degree in sewing technology.

In 2006, Mikhail moved to Saransk, where he worked in the furniture industry—first as an assembler, and later as a designer. He is creative in his work and likes to solve non-standard tasks. In his spare time he builds a house, reads, chats with friends, relaxes in nature, plays chess and sometimes bakes cakes for family and friends. In 2013, Mikhail married Yaroslavna.

Mikhail's great-great-grandmother was the first in the Shevchuk family to start studying the Bible in 1936. The parents instilled moral values in their children, and at a young age they embarked on the Christian path. Moved by love for people and the desire to remain a peaceful person Mikhail requested to complete alternative civilian service instead of military service, but he was exempted from conscription for health reasons.

In 2017, when the ruling to liquidate the legal entities of Jehovah's Witnesses was issued, Mikhail and his wife personally attended the court session at the Supreme Court and heard the statement that the decision would not affect in any way the right of believers to practice their religion. However, later this peace-loving, honest and compassionate man ended up behind bars only because he did not renounce his Christian views.

Case History

In February 2023, a series of searches took place in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Saransk. A month earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a case on organizing the activities of an extremist organization. Several believers, including women, were taken for interrogation to the center for combating extremism. Some of them said that investigators tried to force them to incriminate themselves and their friends. Mikhail Shevchuk, Artem Velichko and Ivan Neverov were placed in a pre-trial detention center for 2.5 months, and later under house arrest, where they spent more than 3 months. In August 2023, their preventive measure was changed to a ban on certain actions.