Updated: July 19, 2024
Name: Lekontsev Pavel Aleksandrovich
Date of Birth: July 5, 1981
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 3 years of imprisonment, with restriction of liberty for a term of 10 months, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 2 years 6 months


On May 14, 2018, a criminal case was opened in Orenburg under Article 282.2 (2) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against Pavel Lekontsev. For reading the Bible with friends, he is charged with "participation in the activities of an extremist organization." What is really known about this supposedly dangerous criminal?

Pavel was born in 1981 in the village of Kytat, Krasnoyarsk Territory, in a family of indigenous Siberians. He was the eldest of three children. From childhood, his father instilled in children a love of nature, so Pavel's hobbies are still connected with nature: hiking, fishing, mushroom picking.

Pavel received the profession of a social pedagogue, although he did not work by profession, preferring various construction and working specialties. He lived in Achinsk and some other cities of Eastern and Western Siberia, changed many jobs.

In the late 1990s, Paul decided to inquire about what the Bible said, and he was struck by the wisdom, honesty, and historical accuracy of the book. Soon he knew that the key to happiness was living up to high Christian standards. In 2017, Pavel married Oksana, who works as a nanny.

Pavel's parents do not share his religious views, but they respect them. They are outraged that their son is being persecuted for crimes he never committed.

Case History

In May 2018, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case against Vladimir Kochnev, Vladislav Kolbanov, Pavel Lekontsev, Sergey Logunov and Nikolay Zhugin. Believers from Orenburg were accused of organizing and financing an extremist organization’s activities and participating in it because of friendly meetings in a café. After the searches, three men were released on recognizance not to leave, and two were detained. Kochnev spent 76 days in pre-trial detention and 72 days under house arrest, while Kolbanov spent 149 days under house arrest. In December 2019, the case went to court, but a month later it was returned to the prosecutor’s office due to the vague nature of the charges. The retrial of the case by another judge began in February 2021. The accusation is based on the testimony of the agent V. Yudin. In August 2023, the judge sentenced the believers to suspended sentences: Logunov and Zhugin — to two and a half years, Kochnev — to two years and eight months, Lekontsev — to three years, and Kolbanov — to three and a half years. The appellate court upheld the verdict.