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Russian doomsday sect ignores bitter cold, stays put

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Members of a Russian sect holed up in a cave in the Penza Region since last fall are reported to be healthy despite above-ground temperatures plummeting to -19 degrees C (-2.2 Fahrenheit).
MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) - Members of a Russian sect holed up in a cave in the Penza Region since last fall are reported to be healthy despite above-ground temperatures plummeting to -19 degrees C (-2.2 Fahrenheit).

"According to our information, all those below ground are in good health. The situation remains unchanged. They have heating supplies and they would appear to be heating up the cave," said a member of the group negotiating with the sect.

The sect went underground in November 2007 in order to "save themselves during the time of the apocalypse," which they say will come in May 2008. They have threatened to set fire to themselves if any attempt is made to force them to come to the surface.

According to the source, the 35 sect members, including four children believed to be between 18 months and 14 years old, have not requested any assistance, despite the bitter cold.

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