The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason.
The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week.
“People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming,” Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week. “Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won’t help them?”
For more than a month, Russians around the country have been buying up candles and matches, salt and torches in an effort to outsmart the apocalypse some believe will come when the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday.
In the coalmining town of Novokuznetsk, shelves nearly emptied of salt stocks last month as the city’s residents prepared to ride through the end of the world. “60 tonnes were bought in one week,” Yelena Zuyeva, a city official, said last week in comments carried on the local administration’s website. “Today all trade companies are working and are ready for any level for consumer activity.”
Online forums have been buzzing with people exchanging tips on what to eat after the entire human population is wiped out on Friday. “If I’m not mistaken, Russia makes all sorts of dehydrated products that are rich in all kinds of vitamins,” a user named Yelena Portnenkova wrote on a forum called “How to live? What to eat?” on VKontakte, the Russian version of Facebook. “Yet filling a garage with stocks of food is not just pointless, but dangerous.”
Alexander Kolomeyets, the deputy head of Russia’s Association of Independent Psychiatrists, lamented the apocalypse-mania that has gripped his country. “There are people who are prone to mental epidemics and I think that most of them are in our country,” Kolomeyets said in an interview with local media in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk.
“What’s happening in our country can be a lot scarier than the end of the world – so any negative information sticks. The more primitive the society, the stronger it lends itself to psychological epidemics. I think in this case our country isn’t very civilized.”
( via guardian.co.uk )