Izvestiya has conducted an independent investigation of the Japanese sect Aum Shinrikyo's activities in Russia. The sect became world-known after its members conducted a poison gas attack in a Tokyo subway. Previously, Aum leaders came to Russia and were received at the highest government levels - by First Deputy Premier Oleg Soskovets and Security Council Secretary Oleg Lobov.
Lobov and a certain ministry official Muravyev established a Russo-Japanese University providing visas for the Japanese visitors. Apart from missionary purposes, the totalitarian sect was looking for weapons in Russia - they wanted to buy machine guns and find out the technologies to produce the chemical weapon sarin gas. The members of the sect visited several research institutes in Moscow, including the Gas and Hydrodynamics institute, where explosions and gas pollution were studied.
The sect has been officially prohibited in Russia since 1995, but it still has monasteries in the Russian provinces and prints a lot of religious literature in Russia. A well-organized group of Aum resides in Moscow. They provide Internet access to the rest of the Russian sect and also deal in real estate and other trades. The source of their money is primarily Japanese.