Updated: May 20, 2024
Name: Usenko Vladimir Vladimirovich
Date of Birth: September 16, 1955
Current status: accused
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement


In April 2022, Vladimir Usenko was accused of extremism merely because of his belief in Jehovah God. He has a class-three disability, and the criminal prosecution has had a negative impact on his health.

Vladimir was born in the city of Yoshkar-Ola in September 1955. He and his younger sister grew up in a family of engineers. Their parents are no longer alive.

As a child, Vladimir was fond of music and soccer. He studied at the Kazan Institute of Physical Education at the Department of Football and Hockey. At the age of 19, Vladimir interrupted his studies and began to play in the soccer teams of the cities of Yoshkar-Ola and Kazan.

After the end of his soccer career, Vladimir returned to his hometown, where he got a job as a grinder at a factory and then as a boiler house operator at a thermal power plant. He is now retired and is still interested in music and soccer, but as a spectator.

In 1986 Vladimir married Nelly, a coworker at the plant. Now she is retired. The couple has two adult children—a son and a daughter.

In his youth, Vladimir was not a believer, but he was interested in the life of Jesus Christ. As he became acquainted with Jehovah's Witnesses, he learned that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled with accuracy. He was surprised by the logic of Bible teachings, and in 1997 he began his journey as a Christian.

During the search, Vladimir's wife, who does not share his religious views, experienced severe stress. Vladimir's serious chronic illnesses were also aggravated due to the anxiety caused by the criminal prosecution.

Case History

In April 2022, the FSB initiated a criminal case against Jehovah’s Witnesses from Yoshkar-Ola. Searches were carried out at nine addresses; law enforcement officers used force against one of the believers, Yevgeny Plotnikov. He was arrested and subsequently placed in a detention center. In August 2022, Yevgeny was placed under house arrest, and in October he was placed under a ban on certain activities. From December of the same year, the FSB investigator began making other residents of the city defendants – Sergey Kulikov and his son Aleksey, Eduard Kapitonov and his son Ilya, Igor Alekseyev, Vladimir Usenko and Denis Petrov. The investigator regarded practicing their faith as extremist actions. The believers were made to sign a recognizance agreement.