A woman purported to be the world’s oldest person has celebrated her ‘129th birthday’ – but she wishes she had died young.
Koku Istambulova says she has never lived a happy day in her life and she has no idea how she has lived so long that she has outlasted her children.
Other centenarians have credited a healthy diet or a lifetime of exercise for their longevity.
But Koku says “it was God’s will” in her case – and she considers it “punishment” instead of a gift.
Russian officials believe Koku is 129-years-old, which would make her the oldest person in the world.
Koku, from the village of Bratskoye in the south-western Russian Chechen Republic, celebrated her birthday at the start of this month with her six grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
She said: “I see other people eating healthy and doing fitness routines, I have no idea why I have lived so long.”
She added: “It was God’s will. I did nothing to make it happen.”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.”
She would also have been 55 when World War II ended, and 102 when the Soviet Union collapsed a generation ago.
According to the Russian government, Koku’s passport states her date of birth as 1 June 1889.
During her long life, she lost several children, including a son who died aged six.