Updated: December 8, 2023
Name: Simonenko Boris Nikolayevich
Date of Birth: March 12, 1955
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 145 day in a pre-trial detention, 219 day Under house arrest
Sentence: punishment in the form of 2 years and 7 months of imprisonment with serving in a correctional colony of general regime, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of public organizations for a term of 3 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year, exempt from punishment in the form of imprisonment in connection with the actual service
Currently held in: Detention Centre No.1 for Vladimir Region


Boris Simonenko devoted 23 years of his life to hard work in a mine in the north of Russia, for which the Ministry of the Coal Industry of the USSR awarded him medals. But in February 2021, the state considered the pensioner a criminal because of the "wrong" belief: he was searched and placed in a pre-trial detention center.

Boris is from Ukraine, he was born in the village of Novaya Sech, Sumy region in March 1955. As a child, he helped raise his younger brother, as his parents worked hard. He also has an elder sister. After school, Boris received a secondary specialized education and worked as an electrician.

At the age of 23, Boris left for Vorkuta, where he worked in a mine as a foreman-miner of a clearing face. He even had to find himself under the rubble. Later he moved to Kovrov, having received an apartment under the program of resettlement of northerners.

Back in Vorkuta, Boris met his future wife Ida, and in 1978 they got married. They have a son, Alexey, who followed in his father's footsteps and became a miner. Ida is a primary school teacher and loves sports. A few years after the wedding, she became interested in Bible teachings, and later her husband joined her. For more than 20 years Boris and Ida have been studying the Bible together and trying to lead a Christian lifestyle. The benefits of applying biblical principles at one time convinced Boris of the truth of what he had learned.

Boris has problems with vision and hearing, he suffered a pre-stroke condition, which is why he underwent long-term treatment. Now the believer is forced to regularly take medications to maintain his health.

Case history

In February 2021, the homes of residents in Kovrov were searched. Boris Simonenko, a retired miner, was detained. A criminal case was initiated against him for his faith in God. During interrogations, FSB officers from Vladimir and Kovrov presented screenshots taken in the summer of 2020, which showed believers communicating with each other via video link. Also, the charges were based on transcripts of Simonenko’s telephone conversations, in which the Bible was mentioned. The believer spent 145 days in a detention center and 219 days under house arrest, after which he was placed under a ban on certain actions. In September 2022, the criminal case went to court. The prosecutor requested 6 years in a penal colony for the believer. In July 2023, the court sentenced Simonenko to 2 years and 7 months imprisonment with additional restrictions for 1 year. The period of stay in a detention center, house arrest and a ban on certain actions was counted toward this term.