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Communists Ignoring Doomsday 'Rumors'

A senior Communist Party lawmaker said Monday that his party would ignore the prediction based on the Mayan calendar that the world would end on Dec. 21, and instead the party will celebrate the birthday of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Valery Rashkin, who has represented the Communists in the State Duma since 1999, told Interfax that party leaders would go ahead with plans to lay flowers at Stalin’s grave in the Kremlin’s walls.

“We are materialists. We don’t believe in these freakish stories and funny rumors,” Rashkin said, adding that party boss Gennady Zyuganov would take part in celebrating Stalin’s 133rd birthday.

The Communists’ attitude toward the end of the world differs markedly from that of residents of the Siberian city of Tomsk, who have been stocking up on “emergency kits” in preparation for doomsday.

Talk of an impending apocalypse has even affected some of the capital’s residents. News reports said some Muscovites asked for their salaries to be paid in advance so they can live out their last days in style.

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