The last nine members of an apocalyptic sect have left their underground cave in the Penza region of Russia. The 175-day epic with hermits has finally finished, although more details of the underground drama start to appear in the Russian press.
Nine of 35 hermits were the most ardent followers of their own seclusion. Two women did not live to see the doomsday: they died in the cave. One of them was a citizen of Belarus, Maria Eroshevich. Her two children live in Belarus. The woman has reportedly starved herself to death during her dry fast. The woman ate and drank nothing for several days.
The second woman died from an oncological disease, other sectarians said. After a lot of persuasions they let officers of the Ministry for Emergency Situations find the body.
They found the body easily: the stench in one of the cells of the cave was unbearable. The woman’s body was badly decomposed. It was covered with a tick layer of sand. After the second body was found, the bodies of the two women were sent to a local morgue to establish the cause of death.
That is why the followers of Peter Kuznetsov (the sect leader) had to leave the cave. They got nervous when they learnt that they were running the risk of poisoning themselves with post-mortem poison. When rescuers told the hermits how dangerous the “atmosphere” in the cave was; they decided to get out.
Two men and seven women (the oldest one is 82) left the cave. The cave still remains under surveillance; experts continue working on the scene too. As soon as the investigation is over, the cave will be covered with sand.
Although the half-year-long story is over, some questions still remain open. The results of forensic expertise may lead to possible charged pressed against the sect leader.
The cave in the Penza region where sectarians had sought shelter from the Apocalypses since last November will be destroyed.
In November of 2007 35 hermits secluded themselves in the cave near the village of in Nikolskoye in the Penza region. The sectarians claimed that they were following their leader to hide from the doomsday. Seven women voluntarily left the cave at the end of March. Fourteen people left the cave in the beginning of April, Interfax said.
On May 16 the remaining nine hermits were brought out of the cave. Several hours before that investigators exhumed the bodies of two women who had supposedly died during their voluntary confinement in the cave.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov