The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason.
The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week.
"People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming," Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week. "Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"
For more than a month, Russians around the country have been buying up candles and matches, salt and torches in an effort to outsmart the apocalypse some believe will come when the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday.