SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
On September 3, 2020, the Novozybkov Town Court of the Bryansk Region convicted Brother Vladimir Khokhlov, Sisters Tatyana Shamsheva and Olga Silaeva, and Brother Eduard Zhinzhikov. Their sentences range from one year to one year and three months in prison. However, because they have already served their time in pretrial detention, they were released.
Born: 1977 (Novozybkov, Bryansk Region)
Biography: A mechanic by trade. Served in the army prior to becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Enjoys soccer, as well as reading, fishing, and playing the guitar
A friend encouraged him to get acquainted with the Bible. Married Olga in 2007. They have a daughter, Anastasia. The family serves Jehovah together
Born: 1977 (Cherepovets, Vologda Region)
Biography: An economist. Has taught economics, law, and accounting for many years. Baptized in 1995. Enjoys directing others to the wise advice found in the Bible
Born: 1988 (Davydovo, Moscow Region)
Biography: Youngest of three children. Graduated from technical school with a degree in thermal engineering. Loves needlework. Enjoys reading and playing volleyball. Developed an appreciation for the Bible, following her mother’s example
Born: 1971 (Zadnya, Bryansk Region)
Biography: Has worked as a welder and a janitor, and has been employed by the police. Was a member of a musical band. Married fellow band member, Tatyana, in 1993. Likes to write poems and play the guitar
In the late 1990’s, began to study the Bible and find answers to many of his questions. Those answers prompted him to change bad habits and improve his family life. This impressed Tatyana. She subsequently joined him in becoming a Witness
On June 11, 2019, authorities raided 22 homes of Witnesses in Russia’s Bryansk Region. Sisters Tatyana Shamsheva and Olga Silaeva were detained. Each spent 245 days in pretrial detention. They were released in May 2020 and were able to return to their homes while awaiting trial.
On October 16, 2019, authorities initiated a criminal case against Brothers Vladimir Khokhlov and Eduard Zhinzhikov. Their case was later combined with the case involving Sisters Shamsheva and Silaeva. Seven days later, the brothers were ordered to pretrial detention, where they remained to date.
The sisters were interviewed during the 2020 Governing Body Update #5. Sister Silaeva said that her eight months in pretrial detention further convinced her that “no matter how serious the difficulties are, Jehovah always gives enough holy spirit to overcome any trial.” Sister Shamsheva confidently stated: “Jehovah is always close to us, and he always supports, strengthens, and helps us.”
We are confident that Jehovah will continue to help all of our brothers and sisters in Russia who are facing imprisonment or are already in detention to endure this present trial with joy and peace.—1 Corinthians 10:13.