‘World’s oldest woman’ dies while saying her prayers at 129 years

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A woman believed by Russian government officials to be the World’s oldest person who ever lived has died quietly while saying her prayers.

Koku Istambulova, a survivor of Stalin’s repressions against the Chechen people, would have been 130 in June, according to records accepted by the country’s state pension fund.

She was older than a woman listed in the Russian Book of Records who died last month supposedly aged 128, officials said.

Koku made headlines last year by saying she had only lived a single happy day in her long life – when she entered the home she built with her own hands on return from exile in Kazakhstan.

Her grandson Iliyas Abubakarov said she had supper as usual on January 27 at her village home in Chechnya.

‘She was joking, she was talking,’ he said.

‘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 some time later. She died in a quiet way, fully conscious, praying.’

She has been buried in her home village Bratskoe, survived by five grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

Her date of birth was claimed to be 1 June 1889 – when Queen Victoria was on the throne in Britain.

But her passport gave only a year of her birth, not the exact day and month.

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