Updated: June 20, 2024
Name: Leshchеnko Nikolay Grigoriyevich
Date of Birth: July 17, 1962
Current status: who has served the main sentence
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1)
Sentence: penalty in the form of a fine in the amount of 500,000 rubles


On July 31, 2019, mass searches were carried out in the homes of believers in Karelia. Three criminal cases were initiated at once, including against 57-year-old Nikolai Leshchenko. What do we know about this man?

Nikolay was born in 1962 in the Ukrainian city of Poltava. His mother worked as an accountant and his father as a driver. Nikolay has a younger sister, Valentina. As a child, he loved hockey and fishing, was fond of technology.

In 1981, Nikolay graduated from a technical school with a degree in road technician. He entered the Higher Military School in Riga (Latvia). In 1987 he was promoted to the rank of officer. He served near the city of Stargard-Szczecinski in Poland, where he was engaged in the maintenance and repair of aircraft. There he also became interested in the Bible, seeing how strikingly different people are who apply the advice from this book in their lives. He wanted to be like them.

In Riga, Nikolay met his future wife Svetlana, and in 1984 they registered their marriage. In 1992 we moved to Petrozavodsk.

Svetlana mastered different professions: she worked in a dry cleaner, as a computer operator in a design bureau, as a nanny in a kindergarten. She is caring for an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease.

After his discharge from the army, Nikolay worked as a bus driver in a construction organization, repaired apartments, and helped his friends with car repairs. Since April 2019, he has been working as chairman of the board of the HOA in his house. He still loves fishing, traveling and hiking with tents with his wife and friends.

Stress greatly affected the health of the spouses. "The criminal prosecution deprived me of my usual way of life," says Nikolay. "The dream ran away, thinking, 'What's next?'"

Relatives, although they do not share the religious beliefs of Nikolai and Svetlana, worry about them and are concerned about the current situation.

Case History

In July 2019, the FSB carried out mass searches in homes and workplaces of believers in Petrozavodsk. Several more searches took place in the neighboring city, Kondopoga. The couple, Maksim and Maria Amosov, were detained right on the street and Maria’s coat was torn. A criminal case was initiated against Maksim, in which 3 more defendants appeared later: Nikolay Leshchenko, Mikhail Gordeev and Dmitriy Ravnushkin. Gordeev and Ravnushkin were detained at their workplaces; after being interrogated by the FSB, the latter was fired from the post of chief power engineer. The believers were accused of organizing the activity of an extremist organization and they were placed under a recognizance agreement. In October 2021, the case went to court. Some documents, dated 1990-2000, had nothing to do with the case. And the testimonies of witnesses for the prosecution were favorable toward the defendants. Despite this, in July 2023, the court fined the four believers: Maksim Amosov, Nikolay Leshchenko, and Dmitriy Ravnushkin, each the amount of 500,000 rubles, and Mikhail Gordeev, 450,000 rubles.