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Brother Vilen Avanesov and his wife, Stella, following his release from prison

FEBRUARY 14, 2024

Seventy-One-Year-Old Brother Vilen Avanesov Released From Russian Prison

Seventy-One-Year-Old Brother Vilen Avanesov Released From Russian Prison

On February 9, 2024, Brother Vilen Avanesov was released from prison after nearly five years of incarceration. Vilen was arrested and detained in May 2019. He was sentenced to six years in prison on July 29, 2021. Due to the time he spent in pretrial detention, he was not required to serve the full term of his sentence. His son, Arsen, was also arrested and imprisoned at the same time. Arsen remains in prison.

Shortly before Vilen’s release, his wife, Sister Stella Avanesova, commented: “The first two and a half years when Vilen was in pretrial detention were the most difficult for all of us. I was very anxious. We were not allowed to communicate with Vilen, not even by letter. Additionally, with both my husband and my son in prison, I was concerned about how I would care for our family’s financial responsibilities on my own.”

Despite these challenges, both Vilen and Stella were always aware of Jehovah’s support. Stella continued: “Vilen told me that each time he was transported to court during the criminal trial, he could see the brothers and sisters gathered at the courthouse. To him, that was evidence of Jehovah’s care. As for me, Jehovah has always made sure I have everything I need. I am 100 percent convinced that Jehovah supports those who trust in him.”

We rejoice for Vilen and Stella as they are reunited. And we will continue to pray for their son, Arsen, and for all of our brothers and sisters who remain in prison. We are confident that Jehovah will continue to prove himself to be a light, a salvation, and a stronghold for those faithful to him.—Psalm 27:1.