Updated: June 20, 2024
Name: Velichko Artem Igorevich
Date of Birth: June 25, 1990
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
Currently held in: Detention Center No.1 for Republic of Mordovia
Address for correspondence: Velichko Artem Igorevich, 1990 born, Detention Center No.1 for Republic of Mordovia, Ul. Rabochaya, 147, Saransk, Republic of Mordovia, 430003

Biography

In February 2023, a second wave of searches took place in the homes of local Jehovah's Witnesses in Saransk. As a result, Artem Velichko ended up in the detention center only because of his faith.

Artem was born in June 1990 in the town of Mikhaylovka, Volgograd Region. Shortly after his birth, his mother began to study the Bible and immediately began to instill a love for Bible principles in Artem, and later in his younger brother. Watching his mother, Artem saw how much joy the Christian way of life brings to her. Therefore, already at a young age, he also decided to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses. A few years later, Artem's father left the family. To help his mother, the young man began to work while he was studying: he decorated and renovated apartments.

In recent years, Artem lived in Saransk. There he met Olga, who had moved to Mordovia from Ukraine. In 2020, they got married. To provide for his family, Artem readily took on any job. He worked as a janitor, roofer, decorator, and also learned how to repair household appliances.

People who know Artem, speak of him as a good specialist and an honest, decent person, who is always ready to help. He learned sign language by himself to help deaf people. The criminal prosecution causes bewilderment and concern among his relatives and friends.

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.