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Longevity

World’s Oldest Woman Dies At 129 Years Young

2 months, 2 weeks ago

2005  0
Posted on Feb 02, 2019, 7 p.m.

Koku Istambulova, believed to be the oldest person ever,  says she didn’t do anything special to live so long, and she was laughing with her grandchildren right up until the end.

According to accepted pension records in Russia Koku Istambulova would have been 130 in June, and Koku was older than a woman in the Russian Book of Records who died at the age of 128 in December 2018.

A Stalin repression survivor, Koku made the headline last year by saying she never lived a single happy day in her life. Her grandson says she had supper in Sunday January 17 in her home as usual in the village of Chechnya.

Abubakarov says of her last night that she was joking and talking when she suddenly felt unwell and complained of chest pain, so they called the doctor.  Koku’s blood pressure had dropped, and she was given injections but they failed to save her, she died in a quiet way, fully conscious and praying.

Koku Istambulova is being buried in her home village of Bratskoe, she is survived by her five grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Koku Istambulova was a Muslim born before the last Tsar Nicholas II was crowned, she outlived the Soviet Union by a generation, and lived through two world wars, according to her passport.

Koku born back when Queen Victoria sat on the British throne, her date of birth is claimed to be June 1, 1889; but her passport only gives a year. In a broadcasted moving testimony last year she spoke very emotionally about the appalling day her native Chechen people were deported en masse by Stalin to the steppes of Kazakhstan some 75 years ago, recalling how people died in the livestock trains, and their bodies were thrown out of the carriages to be eaten by hungry dogs and other animals.

If her age is correct Koku Istambulova would have been 54 at that time, having also lived through the coronation of the last Tsar Nicholas II only two days before her 7th birthday as well as his toppling when she would have been 27.

Speaking more on the morning back in February of 1944 when the entire nation was banished from their mountain homeland in Trans-Causacus she says it was a bad, cold, and gloomy day. People were forced into livestock train cars and taken away, and no one knew where the were going. In her native Chechen language she stressed to journalist the cruelty of Stalin’s actions adding that there was excrement, dirt and rubbish everywhere in the carriages. They were not allowed to go anywhere, many young Caucasus girls died from from rupturing bladders as they were ashamed to relieve themselves in the crowded stinking trains, older women tried to crowd around them to hide them and stop their embarrassment as they relieved themselves. But there was worse; on the way to exile the dead were just thrown out of the train, they were not even allowed to bury the dead, corpses were eaten by dogs, even her father-in-law was thrown away from the train in this way.

Stalin was paranoid alleging the Chechens were collaborating with the Nazis, and said they were bad people and had to leave. Koku spoke of before the war when scary Nazi tanks would rumble the ground going past her family home. Koku suffered many devastating personal bereavement in the Kazakh hell, her two sons perished under the harsh conditions. There were no doctors for any of the exiled, her youngest son contracted something and passed quickly. She says such things happened in every family, it was common for women to die when giving birth, as well as the children due to lack of doctors, family and friends did the best they could to help. Weeping Koku says that she was only able to keep her daughter Tamara.

Koku was exiled for 13 years in Kazakhstan until they were allowed to return after Stalin’s death. When she returned many homes had been taken over by incoming Russians, they had to build a new home. However she claims her husband was too lazy so she did it herself and it was the best home in the world, she adds the day she moved into her own house that she built with her own hands after returning from exile, she conceded, that she was happy, where she lived for some 60 years.

When she was asked about her long life Koku suggests that she did nothing to make it happen, that it was God’s will, she had no idea how she had lived so long. Koku’s secret for long life was shunning meat and soup, and enjoying fermented milk. KoKu says she would have been long dead if not for Allah holding her in his arms, adding that it is hard to live when all who remember you have long died; and it is a very scary thing to die no matter how old you are.

Before Koku the oldest documented person was Jeanne Calment from France who lived to be 122 years and 164 days young before passing on in 1997. French scientists dismissed recent claims from Russian researchers claiming that Jeanne was actually the woman’s daughter who assumed the mother’s identity, and was not as old as the records show.

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