Updated: July 19, 2024
Name: Gushchin Kirill Olegovich
Date of Birth: December 23, 1981
Current status: acquitted
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1), 282.2 (1.1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement


The reputation of Kirill Gushchin from Kabardino-Balkaria suffered when local television broadcast a story about the initiation of a criminal case against him under an "extremist" article. Later, the believer's wife, Svetlana, also came to the attention of the security forces. The life of a married couple was divided into before and after, when on May 20, 2020, armed FSB officers broke into their house. Kirill recalls that during the search he experienced a nervous shock.

Kirill was born in December 1981 in the town of Maysky. He has an elder brother. As a child, Kirill attended the athletics section, loved to play football and basketball. He worked as a lifeguard on a city lake.

Returning from the army, Kirill unlearned to be a welder, worked for some time in his specialty. In 2004, he married Svetlana, who shares his views. Since 2005, Kirill has been working as a plumber, installing plumbing and heating systems in the private sector. In his free time, he likes to relax in nature and play football.

In the early 2000s, Kirill heard the idea that Christ could not be born in winter. This haunted him, and he decided to go to the library in search of reliable information. To his surprise, the library materials only confirmed this information. Kirill seriously engaged in the study of the Holy Scriptures and soon decided to devote his life to serving God.

Due to frequent calls to the Investigative Committee, it became more difficult for Kirill to carry out his work. Relatives and friends of the family, including Kirill's customers, who know him well, are perplexed because of what is happening and are outraged by the actions of law enforcement agencies. The believer hopes that the regional courts, which had previously sided with Jehovah's Witnesses Arkadya Akopyan and Yuriy Zalipayev, will remove the label of an extremist from him.

Case History

In May 2020, the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against Kirill Gushchin, a peaceful family man from the town of Mayskiy, for his faith. Law enforcement officers conducted a series of searches in the homes of believers. In the early morning, they broke into homes, planted banned publications and used force against the believers' family members. About a year later, another case was initiated against Kirill Gushchin, this time for "involving others in the activity of an extremist organization," as the security forces call the conversations of believers about the Bible. Later, the case against Kirill's wife Svetlana and 4 other peaceful women was made into a separate proceeding from the Gushchin case. In June 2021, Gushchin's case went to court. At the hearings, it became obvious that religious scholar Larisa Astakhova "had substituted objective concepts with her personal opinion" in the expert study on which the case was based. In May 2024, the court acquitted the believer, and later the appeal instance upheld this ruling.