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Regional Governors Receive Join-Ukraine-or-Die Threats

The Investigative Committee has opened an inquiry into a mysterious group calling themselves the "Holy Brotherhood of the Black Cross," which has threatened to kill several regional governors if their localities do not leave Russia and join Ukraine.

The group's demands and corresponding threats were sent by email to the governors of Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk, and several other regions, a statement on the Investigative Committee's website said Friday.

The email stated that the governors were to either announce that their regions would join Ukraine, publicly state their opposition to the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine, or commit suicide by any means of their choosing. If they fail to comply with any of the demands, the group promises to kill the governors themselves.

Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that the perceived threat is quite real, "despite the absurdity and, if I may say, the stupidity of these demands." As such, authorities intend to establish the identity of the email's authors, evaluate their sanity, and bring them to justice.

Acting Voronezh Governor Alexei Gordeev said preliminary data indicated that the email was sent from Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, Lenta.ru reported.

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