YAKUTSK, June 6 (RIA Novosti) – The oldest woman in Russia’s Siberian republic of Yakutia (Sakha) marked her 112th birthday on Thursday, local officials said.
Martha Sivtseva, who has 19 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, was born in 1901 during the rule of Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia.
She marked her 40th birthday when the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War began in 1941, during which she lost her husband Gavriil, leaving her to raise her four children, three sons and a daughter, alone.
Martha never married again and spent her whole life working at collective farms (kolkhoz) in the Soviet Union. She continued taking care of animals at a farm even after she turned 90, and helped raise her grandchildren at 102.
“She cannot live without moving,” said Albina, the centenarian’s granddaughter.
Albina said the secret of her grandmother’s health and longevity may be eating natural products, living a healthy lifestyle and being “kindhearted” to people. Although Martha’s health has deteriorated in the past year, she still understands everything and listens to her relatives attentively, Albina said.
A total of six centenarians currently live in the republic, which was home to Varvara Semennikova who claimed to be world’s oldest living person. Semennikova died in 2008 aged 117. According to the Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest living person today is 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.