A Russian woman named Koku Istambulova who was believed to be the oldest person to have ever lived has died at the age of 129. According to accepted pension records in Russia, Koku would have turned 130 in June. Koku Istambulova had made headlines by saying she had never lived a single happy day in her long life. Koku Istambulova was a survivor of Stalin’s repressions. The Russian woman is survived by five grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. In an emotional testimony broadcast last year, Koku spoke of the appalling day her native Chechen people were deported en masse by Stalin to the steppes of Kazakhstan 75 years ago. Patient Dog Walks Slowly to Match Elderly Man's Pace, Heartwarming Video Goes Viral.

Stressing the cruelty of Stalin’s action, Koku told how many people died in the cattle-truck trains. She added that their bodies were thrown out of the carriages to be eaten by hungry dogs. "It was a bad day, cold and gloomy [sic]," said Koku Istambulova while speaking of the February morning in 1944 when the entire nation was banished from their mountain homeland in the Trans-Causacus. She added that they were put on a train and taken, but no one knew where and railway carriages were stuffed with people.

Koku Istambulova died at her village home in Chechnya. "She was joking, she was talking [sic]," said Koku's grandson Iliyas Abubakarov. "Then she suddenly felt unwell, she complained of a chest pain. We called the doctor, we were told that her blood pressure had dropped, and injections were made. But they failed to save her. She died in a quiet way, fully conscious, praying [sic]," he added. International Day of Older Persons: Theme and Significance of the Day To Empower Elderly People.

Koku Istambulova was a Muslim who was born before the last Tsar Nicholas II was crowned. The Russian woman outlived the Soviet Union by a generation, according to her internal Russian passport. Her date of birth was claimed to be 1 June 1889. Koku Istambulova has been buried in her home village Bratskoe.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 15, 2023 10:13 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).