Updated: June 20, 2024
Name: Dechko Yevgeniy Vladimirovich
Date of Birth: May 7, 1989
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 2 day in a temporary detention facility, 205 day in a pre-trial detention, 116 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years of imprisonment, with deprivation of the right to engage in activities related to leadership and participation in the work of religious organizations, for a period of 3 years, with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year; The sentence of imprisonment shall be considered suspended with a probationary period of 4 years


Yevgeniy Deshko is one of 5 Smolensk believers who ended up behind bars in April 2019 because of their religious views. The criminal prosecution lasted almost 2 years. During this time, Yevgeniy spent six months in a pre-trial detention center and about 4 months under house arrest. After a year of legal proceedings, the believer was found guilty. In April 2021, the court sentenced him to 6 years probation with a probation period of 4 years, 1 year restriction of freedom and a ban on holding positions in religious organizations for a period of 3 years.

Yevgeny was born in 1989 in Sochi. Since childhood, he was a versatile child, was fond of various types of creativity, sports, graduated from school with a silver medal. He has an older sister. Parents in childhood instilled in Eugene love and respect for the Bible, which became a reference book for him.

Yevgeniy graduated from Sochi State University with a degree in physical education for people with disabilities. He worked as a massage therapist, driver and electrician. Because of his peace-loving convictions, he asked to replace military service with an alternative civilian one, which he performed from 2012 to 2014 in Smolensk, at the Cherry gerontological center, helping the elderly as an orderly. After graduating from the ACS, he stayed in Smolensk, but in March 2019 he returned to Sochi again.

Eugene loves to make and give friends crafts using unusual technology - using various mechanisms and gramophone records. He also knows how to collect bouquets of sweets, sweets and fruits.

Yevgeny's parents consider his criminal prosecution for extremism a blatant injustice, especially after he defended his right not to take up arms.

Case History

In April 2019, Jehovah’s Witnesses from Smolensk—Ruslan Korolev, Valery Shalev, and Viktor Malkov—were sent to jail. The day before, searches were carried out in their homes. Yevgeny Deshko was detained in Dagomys (Krasnodar Territory) as the fourth suspect in this criminal case. The believers spent 4 to 8 months in jail and another 3 to 7 months under house arrest. Due to the stress and conditions of detention in the pre-trial detention center, Viktor’s heart problems worsened, and he died without waiting for the trial. The criminal case under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was investigated by the FSB of Russia in the Smolensk Region. In the Industrial District Court of Smolensk, the prosecutor asked Judge Marina Masalskaya to send Shalev and Deshko to jail for 8 years, and Korolev for 9 years for discussing Christian teachings. In April 2021, a judge found them guilty, but sentenced them to suspended imprisonment ranging from 6 to 6.5 years. In August 2021, the Court of Appeal approved the punishment for the believers. The cassation court upheld the decisions of the lower courts.