Updated: July 15, 2024
Name: Kuzo Darya Nikolayevna
Date of Birth: March 13, 1982
Current status: defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.3 (1)
Current restrictions: recognizance agreement

Biography

In the spring of 2021, the aw enforcement officers came with a search to Darya Kuzo, a mother of two young children. Her husband, Taras, was put under house arrest, and in the summer of that year and Darya herself became a defendant in a criminal case for her faith.

Darya was born in March 1982 in the city of Voronezh in a large family. She has two elder brothers, one of whom has been disabled since childhood, and a twin sister. At the age of four, Darya moved with her parents to Transcarpathia, and ten years later to Crimea. As a child, she loved to draw and to go to the mountains for mushroom and berries gathering or mushroom hunting.

In her 4th and 5th year's of studying in college while majoring in philology of the Ukrainian language and literature, Darya worked as a teacher in one of the schools in the city of Simferopol. After graduating from college, she moved to the city of Yalta, where she later worked as an administrator in a hotel. After some time, Darya graduated from hairdressing courses and worked at this job for several years. Since 2016, she has been selling professional cosmetics as an individual entrepreneur.

In Yalta, Darya met her future husband, Taras. In 2008 they got married. The family brings up a son and a daughter (at the time of the search they were 9 and 6 years old). Spouses love to go to the mountains, swim in the sea, play football.

Darya was introduced to the Bible at a young age. She was surprised at the practical advice contained in this book and the exact fulfillment of the prophecies. This prompted Darya, as well as her sister became Christian. At that time Darya was eighteen years old.

The persecution changed the life of the Kuzo family. The stress that they've experienced negatively affected  the children. They are really looking forward to when their dad can go out with them again and they don’t understand why he was put behind bars.

Although the relatives do not share Darya's beliefs, it is not clear to them why this close neat couple is being persecuted. Even the neighbors are perplexed that this happened to a family known for its decency.

Case History

In March 2021, the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against Taras Kuzo from Yalta, a father of two young children, suspecting him of financing the activity of an extremist organization. After a series of searches in the homes of believers, Kuzo ended up in a temporary detention facility. In July of the same year, a criminal case was initiated against his wife, Darya, as well as Petr Zhiltsov, Sergey Lyulin and Tadevos Manukyan. Later, Manukyan’s case was made into a separate proceeding. Lyulin spent more than 6 months in a detention center and more than 4 months under house arrest. Zhiltsov and Kuzo were under house arrest for 11 and 16 months, respectively. In March 2022, the case of the believers went to court. A year later, the court sentenced Taras Kuzo to 6.5 years in a penal colony, Petr Zhiltsov to 6 years and 1 month and Sergey Lyulin to 6 years imprisonment; Darya Kuzo was given a 3-year suspended sentence. The men were taken into custody. On March 22, 2024, the court of appeal overturned the verdict and sent the case back for a new trial.