Blessed with a long, really long life of 129 years, Koku Istambulova of Chechnya, Russia, has now passed away. Before passing away, she mentioned that inspite of being scared of death, she wished she had died sooner.


Of all the days she had lived so far, it was only on one day when she truly felt happy.

When asked about her extensive life, she said that she saw people going in for sports, eating healthy food, keeping themselves fit, but she didn't know how she survived this long.

Confirmed by the Russian government with her pension documents, it was said that she would've turned 130 in June and was last the a survivor of Stalin’s repressions. Stalin was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953.


Along with her fellow citizens, she was deported because Stalin had alleged the Chechens were collaborating with the Nazis. 

Thinking back on how she lived, she spoke about life with sullen gloom and recalled how people died in the cattle-truck trains, where their bodies were thrown out of the carriages to be eaten by scavengers. 

For food, they were given rotten fish.


She blames this on Stalin's cruelty, 

“We were put in a train and taken. No one knew where. Railway carriages were stuffed with people - dirt, rubbish, excrement was everywhere.” 

Talking about one of the days, in 1944, when she was banished from their mountain homeland in the Trans-Causacus, she said

“It was a bad day, cold and gloomy." 

With immense dread, Koku mentioned how she went through devastating events - two of her sons perished in these times. She said there were no doctors, nobody to treat them. 


Koku claims that the one day she truly felt happy was when she moved into her own house which she built with her own hands. It was after returning from exile when she felt happy


She only had one complaint. Why she was given such a long life and such little happiness.

She had also said she lived too long and was tired, 

"I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired."

Koku had felt that it was very hard to live when all the people she remembered died long, long ago.

Till the end, she maintained,

"It is very scary to die, however old you are.”

Even if it's devoid of happiness.