Updated: June 12, 2024
Name: Chernyshev Yuriy Yevgeniyevich
Date of Birth: August 30, 1963
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 3 day in a temporary detention facility, 376 day in a pre-trial detention, 896 day Under house arrest, 63 day in prison
Current restrictions: detention center
Sentence: punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 6 years 3 months with serving a sentence 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 period of 3 years, with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year
Currently held in: Detention Center No. 4 in Moscow
Address for correspondence: Chernyshev Yuriy Yevgeniyevich, born 1963, SIZO No. 4 «Medved» in Moscow, ul. Vilyuiskaya, 4, Moscow, Russia, 127081

Letters of support can be sent by regular mail or through the «FSIN-letter system». To pay for service with the card of a foreign bank use Prisonmail.

Note: discussing topics related to criminal prosecution is not allowed in letters; languages other than Russian will not pass.


Insults, harsh treatment and threats to send their underage daughter to an orphanage were what the Chernyshev family from Moscow had to face when the security forces bro into the house of believers in the early November morning. As a result, the court sentenced the head of the family to 6 years in prison for believing in Jehovah God.

Yuriy Chernyshev (pronounced as "Chernyshov") is a native of Moscow. He was born in 1963. As a child, he was engaged in sports swimming. After school, he graduated from the Moscow Civil Engineering Institute, and later worked as a civil engineer.

Yuriy's mother, who is no longer alive, was a believer and from childhood instilled in her son a love for God and the Bible. The study of the Holy Scriptures helped Yuriy to be convinced of God's love, compassion and care for people and for him personally. He was impressed by the kindness and hospitality of people who try to live according to the biblical commandments, and this prompted Yuriy to do the same.

In 1989, Yuriy met his future wife Yekaterina. In 1996, the young people got married, and soon they embarked on the Christian path together. They are raising a daughter who is in medical college. Yekaterina runs a household, she has a hobby—decoupage. Before the persecution, the Chernyshevs loved to spend time with the whole family, visiting various attractions, parks and exhibitions, traveling and learning the history of other countries.

In 2014, the head of the family was diagnosed with serious problems with the spine, which worsened after the search. After Yuriy was placed under house arrest, he and his wife had to live separately for six months, as Yekaterina was a witness in a criminal case against her husband.

In his last plea at the trial, Yuriy Chernyshev stated: "On November 24, 2020, my life and the life of my family changed. The investigator accused me of something I had never done. I . . . did not undermine the foundations of the constitutional system and the security of the state, did not incite religious discord, did not encourage the rupture of kinship and family relations."

Case History

In November 2020, a large special operation took place in Moscow—22 searches in the homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Vardan Zakaryan was hospitalized due to injuries inflicted by the law enforcement officers. He, Vitaliy Komarov, Yuriy Chernyshev, Ivan Сhaikovskiy and Sergey Shatalov were placed in the temporary detention facility at 38 Petrovka Street. Four of the believers were accused of organizing the activity of an extremist organization, and Zakaryan was accused of involving others in it. It is noteworthy that in 2010, Сhaikovskiy obtained compensation through the ECHR for the violation of his rights due to the illegal liquidation of the Moscow community of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the winter of 2022, the case went to court. The charges were based on the testimony of the FSB agent “Makarov”, who feigned interest in the Bible. In March 2023, the court sentenced Сhaikovskiy, Komarov, Chernyshev and Shatalov to 6 years and 3 months in a penal colony; Zakaryan was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in a penal colony. The court of appeal upheld this decision in April 2024.