Support The Moscow Times!

120-year-old Russian Makes it Into the Record Books

A 120-year-old Russian woman has entered the record books as the second longest-living person in the world, the Rossiskaya Gazeta newspaper reported Thursday.

Born in 1896, Tanzilya Bisembeyeva has lived in a small village in the Astrakhan region of southern Russia all her life, the newspaper reported. Despite working in the fields for more than 60 years, she lives on a minimal pension because the people who could prove her work record on paper have all died, her son told reporters.

Bisembeyeva's first husband was killed during World War II and their child died during infancy, leaving her alone at the age of 49 when the war ended. A second marriage proposal followed and she had her first son at the age of 53, according to rg.ru. She now has three sons, 10 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

According Russia's Book of Records, Tanzilya Bisembeyeva is the second longest-living person in the world after Jeanne Calment of France, who lived for over 122 years and died in 1997.

Bisembeyeva's relatives say that she “never sits still, doesn't smoke and eats only organic produce” and enjoys a positive outlook on life.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.