On 27 January 1980, Vladimir Andreyevich SHELKOV (CCE 55), Chairman of the All-Union Church of True and Free Seventh-Day Adventists, died at the age of 84 in a strict-regime camp in Yakutia [Soviet Far East] where he was serving a sentence. Shelkov was the third person to be appointed chairman of the Church (in 1949); the two previous chairmen both died in captivity (in 1937 and 1949 respectively). He himself spent a total of 25 years imprisoned for his religious activities.
Vladimir Shelkov, 1896-1980
Shelkov was last arrested in 1978 (CCE 49). On 23 March 1979 he was sentenced by Tashkent City Court to five years in strict-regime camps (CCE 53).
On 29 January 1980, the Council of the All-Union Church published the news of Shelkov’s death. On receiving a telegram from the camp informing them of his death. Shelkov‘s relatives flew to Yakutia, hoping to be given the body: Shelkov had stated in his will that he wished his family to bury him in Samarkand. They were not allowed to take his body.