The leader of the Doomsday cult, Pyotr Kuznetsov has regained consciousness a little over a week after an alleged suicide attempt.
The leader of the Doomsday cult, Pyotr Kuznetsov, may face charges over his role in 35 cultists locking themselves underground for several months. Nine cultists remain underground and two are believed to have died. Those who’ve come out are being questioned ahead of possible charges.
Twenty-four members of the group, which went underground in November to wait for the end of the world, which they say will come in May or June, have left the dugout in the Penza Region in the last two weeks after most of the shelter’s roof caved in following heavy rain.
A member of the cult has stated that two women died while the group was in the cave: one of cancer, the other during a fast.
A local government official says that police and emergency officials were remaining on duty outside the dugout where the remaining 11 sect members are still holed up.
“The eleven sect members remaining underground have proved to be the most hard-line. They have decided to halt talks for several days to think and pray,” said Anton Sharonov.
The Doomsday cult members locked in an underground hideaway in Russia’s Penza region have vowed to stay silent and have stopped all negotiations with officials.
Pyotr Kuznetsov, 43, has been admitted to a hospital near Penza, about 600 km (370 miles) southeast of Moscow, and underwent an operation on Wednesday after suffering head wounds.
There are now 11 members of the sect left underground. All of them are adults.
Two of the cells built by the cult members collapsed Tuesday, and the cave became divided into two parts. The 14 people who came out were in a different section from those who still remain, Sharonov said. [video]
With more sections of the bunker collapsing authorities believe the safety of those who is still in the bunker is in serious danger.
Rescue workers have cleaned up and reinforced the entrance to the shelter following its collapse, clearing the way for the sect members should they wish to end their underground wait for the Apocalypse. A group of rescue workers is also on duty day and night near the shelter in order to provide assistance in the case of an emergency.
Fourteen members of a doomsday cult who had been holed up in a cave in Russia for the last few months are reported to have come out. [video]
A Russian priest who specialises in the Apocalypse has been trying to coax members of a Doomsday cult to come out of a cave where they have spent five months waiting for the world to end.
A Russian doomsday cult sheltering in a bunker say credit cards and food packaging bar codes are satanic, the official negotiating the release of children from the group said.
A third of the dugout is thought to have already caved in. The roots of trees above the enclosure are believed to be keeping the roof from collapsing altogether. [video]
The area of the cave is cordoned off by police. The lives of cultists remaining underground are not in danger, Melnichenko said. After several cave-ins they moved to the part of the cave where trees’ roots reinforce the soil overhead.
Officials feared that melting snow could eventually lead to the collapse of the cave, but there was no immediate threat to those who remained behind.
The sect announced on Wednesday that they would come to the surface in late April or early May.