Vodka-loaded apocalypse kits go on sale in Siberia
An apocalypse kit that went on sale in Tomsk in western Siberia contains a bottle of vodka, reported RIA Novosti.
Besides vodka, the kit contains a pack of buckwheat, a can of fish, some candles and matches, a notepad and pencil, medication, including heart medicine, and soap and a rope.
It also contains an ID card to be filled out by hand "in case your ID cards demagnetize" and an instruction card spelling out various games to alleviate apocalypse-related boredom.
The kits - produced by a bridal party operator - are available in bright yellow and glamorous pink and cost a modest 890 rubles (USD 27) apiece.
More than 1,000 were already sold as of last week, Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily said Monday.
The kits are popular corporate New Year gift packages, kit maker's director Yuliana Shchegolyova told RIA Novosti.
"We checked the internet, and the only nation to offer such kits was Mexicans," Shchegolyova said.
Shchegolyova added the kit was a joke, but it seemed to have gone over the heads of officials, who announced plans to ban kit sales over the vodka and the medication, which require special permits to sell, Sostav.ru news website said Monday.
The end-of-the-world craze is sweeping the former Soviet Union. Last week, free apocalypse survival courses opened in the Ukrainian city of Simferopol, and concerned Latvians unsuccessfully sought earlier to obtain insurance from the end of the world.
People across Russia have been reported stealing necessities and trying to weasel out of debts, citing the upcoming demise of the world as we know it.
Current eschatological expectations are based on a 5,000-year-long Maya calendar which has Dec 21, 2012 as its final date. Various hypotheses about the exact means of delivering the apocalypse have been voiced, though all were rejected by mainstream scientists.
The last end-of-the-world craze took place in 2011, when American Christian radio host Harold Camping predicted Rapture Oct 21 of that year. He was wrong.