Updated: May 24, 2024
Name: Ketov Aleksandr Valeriyevich
Date of Birth: January 20, 1968
Current status: defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Time spent in prison: 1 day in a temporary detention facility, 55 day Under house arrest
Current restrictions: prohibition of certain actions


The second day of spring 2021 began for the 53-year-old resident of the capital of Komi, Alexandr Ketov, with a search in his house, after which law enforcement officers placed the believer in a temporary detention center, where he spent a day. Then he was placed under house arrest.

Alexandr was born into a family of workers in 1968 in the village of Malaya Beberka (Komi Republic). He had a younger brother who died at the age of 5 from a congenital disease. Alexandr's childhood was spent in the countryside, surrounded by virgin forests, recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Here he learnt to ski and kept this hobby throughout his life.

After graduating from school in 1989, he moved to Syktyvkar, where he studied at a technical school, specializing in “procurement of recyclable materials”. After serving in the navy, he acquired the profession of a bricklayer and a firefighter. Alexandr worked in the fire brigade as a squad leader, and is now on a well-deserved retirement.

In 1994, Alexandr married Nataliya. They have an adult son. The couple love to travel together, and in the summer - to take care of plants in the garden and go to the forest for mushrooms and berries.

As a child, Alexandr heard from his elders that the Bible is a prophetic book, and in the late 1990s he became convinced of this himself, starting to research Bible prophecy. He was especially happy to find an answer to the question of why people get sick and die.

The faith that filled Alexandr's life with meaning prompts him to share biblical knowledge with others, which is now interpreted by law enforcement agencies as extremism. The criminal prosecution has deprived the rest and sleep of the entire family. “I developed a strong concern for my wife’s health,” says Alexandr. The spouse and son consider the persecution unjust.

Case History

In March 2021, massive searches of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place in Syktyvkar. Sergey Ushakhin, Andrey Kharlamov, Aleksandr Ketov and Aleksandr Kruglyakov were placed in a temporary detention facility. The Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against them and Lidiya Nekrasova, accusing the believers of organizing the activities of an extremist organization and participating in it. Sergey, 60, a group II disabled person, and Lydia, 68, were under recognizance agreement. Kharlamov and Ketov found themselves under house arrest, and Kruglyakov — in custody for two months. Later, for Ketov and Kruglyakov, the preventive measure was changed to prohibition of certain actions. After a year, the case went to trial. Since the charges were drawn up in violation of the law and no facts of extremism were identified, the judge returned the case to the prosecutor. In January 2023, it was back in court. In August 2023, Sergey Ushakhin’s condition suddenly deteriorated, and he died.