It’s not the end of the world! Russia tells citizens Armageddon will not come on December 21
10:40 GMT, 3 December 2012
Russia has told its citizens that the world will not end on December 21.
Moscow’s minister of emergency situations is alarmed at the growing panic among many people that an ancient prophecy that armageddon will occur on that date is true.
Ancient Mayans claimed that is the day a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close. Many in Russia, where mystical thinking is popular, have taken notice.
Blame the Mayans: According to the Mayan calendar the world will end on December 21st – something which has caused panic in Russia
Some are hoarding everyday items such as sugar, matches and candles. Inmates in a jail are said to have experienced a ‘collective mass psychosis’.
A huge Mayan-style archway is being built out of ice in Chelyabinsk in the south of the country.
This has alarmed government staff who have taken the unusual step of issuing a statement that the end of the world is not nigh.
Not the end: Russian officials have been forced to issue a statement assuring the population that Armageddon isn't here
The ministry said it had access to ‘methods of monitoring what is occurring on Earth’, and could say with confidence all will be well.
However Russians were warned they still face the threats of ‘blizzards, ice storms, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply’.
An official from the Russian State Church has also spoken out to reassure frightened people.