Accessibility links

Breaking News

Chechen Woman, 116, Could Be World's Oldest Person

Chechen Woman, 116, Is Thought To Be World's Oldest Person
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:00:39 0:00
A centenarian living in a Chechen village might be the world's oldest living person.
According to her passport, Kesi Karuyeva is 116 years old, and is due to turn 117 next week, on January 5. Another document gives her date of birth as even earlier -- 1884.
Karuyeva was four years old at the turn of the 20th century.
She remembers life under the tsar and lived through Soviet leader Josef Stalin's forced deportation of the Chechens to Central Asia.
Life under the tsar was a golden era, she says:
"[Tsar] Nicholas [II]'s time was the best time," she says. "Everything was fine back then. People did not denounce each other. People loved each other. People were attentive to each other and treated each other well. Oh-oh-oh! It was a wonderful time!"
Karuyeva has outlived all but two of her 12 children.
Currently the woman listed by the Guinness World Records as the oldest person in the world is Besse Cooper of the U.S. state of Georgia, who's 115.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.