Recent Russian news article on detained volunteers in Novorossiysk makes no reference to arrest

Mar 6, 2019, 1:27 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm
Komsomolskaya Pravda...
An article on the website for Russian tabloid "Komsomolskaya Pravda", published after the arrest of two volunteers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, appears to make no reference to the boys' arrest. (Image: Komsomolskaya Pravda)
(Image: Komsomolskaya Pravda)

Four days after volunteers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were detained in Novorossiysk, Russia, on charges of teaching English without a license, a Russian media outlet released an article on the men describing them as English teachers, KSL has learned. The article makes no reference to their arrest.

The article, published by the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda on Tuesday night at 11:11 p.m. (Moscow Time), bears the translated title, “Americans came to Novorossiysk to help the local people pass the exam.”

It appears to be a human interest piece on the two men. It does not mention their detention or their affiliation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, instead describing them as volunteers who moved to Novorossiysk with the specific intention of teaching free English courses.

A contradiction of American News

Deseret News on detained volunteers

An article on the detained missionaries published in the Deseret News yesterday, the same day the Russian article was published. (Image: Deseret News)

The detained volunteers were already in prison when the Russian article came out, according to what church spokesman Eric Hawkins told the Deseret News.

The men, Hawkins says, were arrested at their church meetinghouse on Friday night. If Hawkins’ timeline is accurate, they would already have been imprisoned for five days when the Komsomolskaya Pravda article was published.

According to one of the men’s fathers, who was able to speak to his son over the phone, the officials who detained the men accused them of teaching English without a license during the arrest. He has denied the charge that they taught English, saying that they were simply enjoying a regularly-scheduled game night at the meetinghouse when the arrest occurred.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda article released yesterday, however, presents the volunteers differently. It claims that the men came to “do good deeds” and “battle illiteracy” through free English classes.

Their article claims that the men set up an office in Novorossiysk to teach English classes. It quotes one of the men as saying that, as a routine, they visited local English tutors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to help them educate their students. The article also claims that they tutored students trying to pass English exams.

The men’s Friday night game night ritual is mentioned in the article; however, instead of presenting it as a pastime, the article describes it as a creative form of English instruction.

“Every Friday for two hours, we go with the residents of Novorossiysk to learn English in our office,” the article quotes one of the volunteers as saying. “We play ‘Crocodile’, where you need to guess a word in English and translate it into Russian, and other fun games.”

It is not clear when the Komsomolskaya Pravda began writing the article or whether they were aware of the men’s arrest when it was published.

The site has since released another article that describes the arrest, published last night. The new article claims that the men were arrested “at a meeting of a spoken English club” and that their visas had expired. It confirms, however, that the men were arrested on Friday.

Today’s Top Stories


The new monuments at This is the place heritage park....
Mark Jackson

This is the Place Heritage Park to unveil monuments for early Black pioneers

This is the Place Heritage Park will unveil a monument dedicated to early Black pioneers on July 22, just in time for Pioneer Day.
1 day ago
praying football coach...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
5 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
8 days ago
supreme court. it just ended remain in mexico policy...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Justices rule religious schools must get Maine tuition aid

The most immediate effect of the court's ruling beyond Maine probably will be felt next door in Vermont, which has a similar program.
11 days ago
Photo credit: Just Add Chocolate Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts

Chocolate shop apologizes, renames Book of Mormon-themed Twinkies

A Utah County chocolate shop has renamed its Book of Mormon-theme Twinkies after it was accused of being racist. The shop has also apologized.
22 days ago
hill cumorah monument...
Mark Jones and Aimee Cobabe

UPDATE: Suspect arraigned for reckless endangerment after gunshots fired at Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center

No injuries were reported Wednesday after gunshots were heard near the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in New York. Police say roughly 22 shots were fired.
24 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Recent Russian news article on detained volunteers in Novorossiysk makes no reference to arrest