Updated: February 29, 2024
Name: Vashchenko Rimma Mikhailovna
Date of Birth: August 17, 1930
Current status: charges withdrawn
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2)
Died while under investigation


Rimma Mikhailovna Vashchenko was the oldest Russian woman, persecuted by the authorities only because of her faith in Jehovah God. In 2019, she was under investigation and on the official list of Rosfinmonitoring as an “extremist”. Unfortunately, the peaceful believer did not live to see rehabilitation: she died in January 2021 at the age of 90.

Rimma was born in 1930 in the village of Trushnikovo (Kazakhstan). Father worked as an accountant, mother as a cook. They raised three children together, but their father passed away early. Rimma's childhood came in the war years. The family lived very poorly, and when the eldest son went to the army, it became even more difficult.

After the war, Rimma entered the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the Semipalatinsk Pedagogical Institute. Throughout her working life, she has always worked as a Physics and Maths teacher, receiving numerous awards. Rimma got married and raised two children.

Having retired in 1985, Rimma Mikhailovna came to live in Nevinnomyssk, where in summer there is a lot of greenery and it is very warm. Living here, she began to think about how to understand the Bible better. As she studied this ancient book, she found the loving, just, and merciful God she had been looking for for so long. Rimma Mikhailovna has repeatedly said that she never regretted it.

Criminal prosecution has become an ordeal for the elderly woman. Rimma Mikhailovna bitterly shared her feelings: “I somehow do not fully understand what is happening to me. Can you imagine that at my age I am an extremist? I have diplomas as a teacher of physics and mathematics, but I do not understand who are the extremists? " Shortly before the believer was interrogated, doctors diagnosed her with a progressive brain disease.

Case history

In November 2018, mass searches took place in Nevinnomyssk. A year later, the Investigative Committee opened criminal cases under two “extremist” articles against Anatoly Boyko, Yevgenia Akhrameeva, Georgy and Tatyana Parfentyev, Nadezhda Konkova, Sergey Kuznetsov, Karina Sahakyan and Rimma Vashchenko (Rimma died under investigation at the age of 90). In May 2022, the investigator stopped the criminal prosecution against everyone except Sergey Kuznetsov, who is visually impaired, has hearing problems and has difficulty moving. In August 2022, the case went to court. After 5 months, the case was transferred to another judge. The prosecution was based on the testimony of a secret witness. In April 2023, the court sentenced the believer to 6 years of suspended imprisonment. In the summer of the same year, the appeal upheld the verdict. Shortly thereafter, Georgy Parfentiev died at the age of 76.