Add to My Yahoo!


Russian doomsday cult awaits end of world, threatens mass suicide
Mike Aivaz and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday November 19, 2007
Print This  Email This

Twenty-nine members of a Russian doomsday cult who holed up in a cave last week are threatening to blow themselves up with drums of gasoline if authorities try to force them out.

"The dozens of religious zealots are living in freezing conditions, waiting for the end of the world" reports CNN correspondent Matthew Chance. "They believe it will come in the spring and are reported to have hoarded enough supplies to last them until then, including fuel and blankets and half a ton of honey and jam."

Most of those in the cave are women, and there are also four children with them. They have refused to speak with Russian Orthodox monks who were sent to try to negotiate and say they only want to be left alone.

The leader of the cult, Pyotr Kuznetsov, did not join his followers and is now in police custody, undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Kuznetsov, who declared himself a prophet several years ago, does not allow cult members to watch television, handle money, or eat food stamped with the universal product code, which he regards as the mark of the Antichrist.

The following video is from CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, broadcast on November 16, 2007