Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

117-old woman from Russia loves eating raw fish and drinking champagne

Varvara Semennikova is 117 years old. She is probably the main contender for the title of the world’s oldest human being. She was born in Yakutia in 1890. Semennikova is confident that her beloved husband was the source of her longevity.

Varvara met a hunter called Alexei Semennikov in 1944. Soon they got married. Varvara’s husband was her junior by 27 years.

“We used to share the yurt with his parents. We were a really close-knit family back then…” said Varvara.

She does not seem to be concerned about her age.

“Once I fell ill and had a dream. I saw myself lying in a casket in that dream. Then somebody helped me climb out of the casket right before I woke up. I think death was walking pretty close around me,” Varvara said.

These days Varvara lives in a house made of timber. She shares it with her daughter Elena, 59, and her grandson Roma, 17. A TV set sits opposite to her bed. The TV is on all the time – the old lady loves following the news.

Varvara’s usual diet comprises fresh fish (she eats it in the raw after flaking away small pieces with a knife), boiled meat, tea with milk, jam, bread and butter, sour cream. Varvara seems to enjoy eating every bit of her food. At an average, her dinner lasts for two or three hours. The old lady does not look like a frail helpless creature. She seems to be fully coherent; her speech is loud and clear. Varvara Semennikova raised four children and ten grandchildren.


Translated by Guerman Grachev