Updated: July 22, 2024
Name: Yuskov Yuriy Georgiyevich
Date of Birth: May 5, 1938
Current status: convicted person
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation: 282.2 (1.1), 282.2 (2)
Current restrictions: suspended sentence
Sentence: punishment in the form of 5 years of imprisonment, with restriction of liberty for a period of 1 year 4 months, punishment in the form of imprisonment shall be considered conditional with a probationary period of 4 years

Biography

In May 2023, during a raid on peaceful believers in Novocheboksarsk, one of Jehovah's Witnesses Yuriy Yuskov, 85, learned that a criminal case had been initiated against him for his religious views.

Yuriy was born in 1938 in the village of Selivanovskaya, Rostov Region. His father died at the frontline in 1942, and his mother died in 2012. Yuriy's sister died as a child.

As a child, Yuriy loved to fish and build dams in the streams. He graduated from a six-year boarding school. After returning from the army in 1960, he studied for another two years at a school for working youth in the city of Norilsk.

Yuriy worked in Norilsk at a mechanical plant as a bender-roller of cold and hot rolled products, then in a quarry as an assistant driver of an electric locomotive, then as a welder and driver of vehicles for various purposes. In his past time, Yuriy loves hiking in nature.

When he was talking about how he got to know the Bible, Yuriy recalled: “I was convinced that this wise book had truth in it, and I decided to live according to Christian norms and principles.” This happened in 1999. The wife, Lyudmila, did not share her husband's religious beliefs, but was not against them either. In 1963, the couple had a son, Yuriy, who was the first in the family to begin studying the Bible. Lyudmila passed away in 2019.

The criminal prosecution had a negative impact on the emotional state of the elderly believer, but he is firm in his convictions. Relatives and friends worry about Yuriy, since they don't understand how they can persecute such an honest and kind person.

Case History

In November 2020, pensioner Yuriy Yuskov's apartment was searched as part of the case of three believers from Cheboksary. Law enforcement officers seized electronic devices, personal notes and photographs from the elderly man. He was released after interrogation. The security forces returned for a second search in May 2023. At that time the believer was already 85 years old. He was placed under a recognizance agreement. The FSB accused Yuskov of participating in the activity of an extremist organization and involving others in it for talking about his peaceful beliefs. In January 2024, the case went to court, and two months later a verdict was passed – a 5-year suspended sentence with a 4-year probation period, and 1 year and 4 months of restriction of freedom. In May 2024, the court of appeal upheld this decision, slightly changing the additional restrictions.