Updated: July 12, 2024
Name: Ovchinnikova Lyubov Lukichna
Date of Birth: November 19, 1958
Current status: defendant
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (2), 282.2 (1.1)
Sentence: punishment in the form of 6 years of imprisonment with restriction of liberty for a term of 1 year 6 months, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 3 years


In May 2022, Lyubov Ovchinnikova, a pensioner who worked as a nursery-school teacher for many years, faced religious persecution. This elderly woman was prosecuted for talking about the Bible.

Lyubov was born in 1958 in the village of Shchelkonogovskiy (Sverdlovsk Region) in a large family. When she was 6, they moved to live in the village of Knyaz-Volkonskoy (Khabarovsk Territory). Her parents and three brothers are no longer alive; only two older sisters remain. From a young age, Lyubov was fond of sewing.

Having received a specialized secondary education, Lyubov worked as a teacher in a nursery school until her retirement. While retired, she worked as a cleaner.

Lyubov got married in 1978 and together with her husband, moved to live in the village of Miass (Chelyabinsk Region). Later, due to the lack of their own housing, the family returned to Knyaz-Volkonskoy. The couple raised a son and a daughter. Lyubov is a widow now. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, sewing, making fabric crafts and cooking.

In 1997, after carefully studying the Bible, Lyubov decided to devote her life to serving God. She did not think that in 25 years she would be subjected to criminal prosecution for her faith.

Due to the trial, Lyubov is forced to live in Khabarovsk. She is having health problems. Relatives worry about her and support her as best they can.

Case History

From April 2020, on the instructions of the FSB, one of the residents of the village of Knyaz-Volkonskoy began recording conversations about the Bible with Lyubov Kocherova and Lyubov Ovchinnikova. Two years later, a criminal case was initiated against the pensioners for allegedly recruiting and participating in the activity of an extremist organization. They were accused of “asking questions on religious topics regarding… understanding the Bible.” In March 2023, the case went to court, and in August of the same year, Kocherova and Ovchinnikova were given 6 years of suspended sentence. In December, the appellate court overturned the verdict and sent the case back for a new trial, which began in January 2024.