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'It's a punishment': Oldest living human being on Earth claims she's suffered every single day of her life

Koku Istambulova from Chechnya says she's 128 years old and considers her longevity a punishment from god
UPDATED FEB 19, 2020
(Source : Getty Images)
(Source : Getty Images)

The world's oldest living person, a woman of 128 years, claims her longevity is "a punishment" and says she hasn't lived a single happy day in her life. Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, is the world's oldest person if claims made by the Russian government are believed to be true, reports The Mirror.

The veteran has blatantly said that her long life "was God's will" and there was nothing she did to "make it happen."

While many fitness advocates would attribute longevity to a healthy or active lifestyle, the "tired" 128-year-old said,  "I have no idea how I lived until now."

In two weeks, Istambulova will turn 129, but the old lady says she has not "had a single happy day in my life." Koku's internal passport shows her date of birth as June 1st, 1889, and the "oldest living person" claim was reportedly made by the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation.

According to historical records, Koku was already 27 years old when the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, was forced to give up his throne in March 1917. She was 55 at the end of the Second World War that ended in 1945, and already 102 when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 - an event that seems like it occurred a generation ago. 

Reportedly, Koku does not consume meat and hates any kind of soup. However, she loves fermented milk. During World War II, Istambulova recalls Nazi tanks passing her family home and feeling really "scared."

Her family was deported by Stalin along with the entire Chechen nation, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. He had accused them of collaborating with the Nazis. During an interview, Koku was asked how she had lived for such a long time. She replied in faith: " “It was God’s will. I did nothing to make it happen.

“I see people going in for sports, eating something special, keeping themselves fit, but I have no idea how I lived until now.” She also claimed: “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired. "Long life is not at all God’s gift for me - but a punishment.”

Koku lost her only surviving daughter, Tamara, five years ago, according to relatives. She was 104 years old at the time of her death. While her eyesight is failing her, Koku is still articulate, able to feed herself and walk without hassles.

"I survived the Russian Civil War [after the Bolshevik revolution], the Second World War, the deportation of our nation in 1944 and through two Chechen wars. And now I am sure that my life was not a happy one. I remember tanks with Germans passing our house. It was scary. But I tried not to show this, we were hiding in the house. Life in Kazakhstan was the hardest for us.

"When in exile - we lived in Siberia too - but in Kazakhstan, we felt how the Kazakhs hated us. Every day I dreamed of going back home. Working in my garden helped me to get rid of my sad thoughts but my soul always wanted home," she recounts.

“I remember my granny beat me and reprimanded because my neck was visible. And then Soviet times came and women quickly began to wear more open clothes.”

Koku's favorite place to relax is an old bed outside her house. She loves to sit there in summer days under the shade of a tree. She said: “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life. I did not have time for rest or entertainment. We were either digging the ground or planting the watermelons.When I was working, my days were running one by one. And now I am not living, I am just dragging through.”

During the Second Chechen War which lasted from 1999 to 2009, all of her documents were lost, according to officials.

Apparently, there are 37 people over the age of 110 years in Russia, according to the pension fund, which is a state body. However, none of these claims can be truly verified as there is a lack of early childhood written records or reliable birth proofs.

Like Istambulova, most of them live in the Caucasus which is known worldwide for its history of longevity among its peoples. The oldest documented woman in the world is Chiyo Miyako, who was born on May 2nd, 1901 in Japan. Before Miyako, the oldest living person was Nabi Tajima, also from Japan, who died at a ripe age of 117 years.

That being said, the oldest documented human life span of all time is Jeanne Calment from France. She died in 1997 after living a staggering 122 years and 164 days.