Hermit woman refuses to leave home despite Russian ROCKET LAUNCH

Hermit woman, 75, refuses to leave her remote home – despite the risk she could be hit by debris from imminent Russian ROCKET LAUNCH

  • Recluse Agafya Lykova has lived her whole life in a wooden shack in Siberia
  • Russian officials warned that her home is on flight path of Kazakhstan rocket
  • She has lived alone since 1988 but continues to refuse all help and housing from the Russian state

A hermit woman who lives ‘as if in the 18th century’ has refused a demand to evacuate her remote home despite the risk of being hit by debris from an imminent Russian rocket launch.

Recluse Agafya Lykova recently marked her 75th birthday in the wooden shack where she was born some 150 miles from the nearest town deep in the Siberian taiga.

She is the last survivor of a family of Old Believers, a Russian Orthodox grouping who fled into the forest in 1936 to avoid religious persecution under Stalin.

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Agafya Lykova outside her wooden cabin in part of the Siberian forest where she has lived for the past 75 years. She is the last survivor of a family of Old Believers, an Orthodox group who fled into the forest in 1936 to escape Stalin

The Lykovas remained undetected for more than 40 years until their remote homestead – where Agafya still lives – was spotted from the air by Soviet geologists.

Russian space agency officials recently journeyed into the taiga to warn her that her home is on the flight path of a coming rocket launch from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

She lives ‘as if in the 18th century’ and has refused all help and rehoming offers from the Russian state

But she steadfastly refused to move from her simple home where she keeps goats and grows her own food.

The recluse told officials: ‘The rockets fell down before.

‘So what is different now?’

Since the death of her parents and siblings, Agafya has lived alone since 1988, refusing all demands from Russian officials to move to sheltered housing in a village in Khakassia region.

In 2016 she was briefly hospitalised but demanded to return as soon as possible to her homestead where she refuses to carry any weapons and scares away wild brown bears by banging cutlery on a plate, reported The Siberian Times.

She complained that in ‘civilisation’ there are ‘so many cars’.

‘Why do you need so many?’

‘There’s so much smoke from them, there’s nothing to breathe.’

Agafya marked her 75th birthday in April and told the director of the nature reserve in which she lives that she has planted her crops for the year and has sufficient grass for her goats.

Viktor Nepomnyaschiy, director of the Khakassky Nature Reserve where lives, said that she ‘has enough food’ and survived her latest harsh winter with temperatures as low as -35C.

Russian space agency officials recently journeyed to the Khakassia Nature Reserve where she lives to warn her that her home is on the flight path of a coming rocket launch from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

Apart from salt, knives, forks and handles, Agafya and her family opted not to take any methods or items from the modern world

‘She complained a bit over her health condition, particularly pain in her legs, but so far she is managing to look after her household,’ he said.

She was the fourth child of Karp and Akulina Lykov, and for the first 35 years of her life she had no contact at all with anyone outside her family.

In 1978 a group of geologists found the family after spotting their hideout from the air.

The scientists reported that Agafya spoke a strange blurred language ‘distorted by a lifetime of isolation’.

When they were found the family had no idea World War Two had started – or ended.

Agafya Lykova (middle) with her father Karp (right) and sister Natalia (left) in 1980. The family had been living in the forest undisturbed for 40 years when a group of geologists spotted their cabin from the air in 1978

Agafya’s father (left) died in his sleep in February 1988. She has lived alone since his death

Her plot is located close to Yerinat River,on a remote mountain side in the Abakan Range, in south-western Siberia.

Her father had taken the decision to flee civilisation in 1936 after a communist patrol arrived on the fields where he was working and shot his brother dead.

Gathering a few meagre possessions and some seeds, he took his wife, Akulina, their nine-year-old son, Savin, and two-year-old daughter Natalia, and fled into the forest.

Over the years they retreated deeper into taiga, building a series of wooden cabins amid the pine trees.

The family lived on a staple diet of potato patties mixed with ground rye and hemp seeds. The Lykovs subsisted mainly on trapped wild animals and cultivated potatoes

Despite Agafya’s age and the risks to her health from living without modern amenities she continues to live permanently in her remote home

They lived on a staple diet of potato patties mixed with ground rye and hemp seeds.

The Lykovs subsisted mainly on trapped wild animals and cultivated potatoes.

They had no firearms, no salt and did not know how to make bread.

However a bad winter in 1961 killed off everything in their garden and they were reduced to eating their own leather shoes.

The cold weather, and lack of food, led to Akulina’s death.

Once the family was discovered they continued to live in the wilderness and, apart from salt, knives, forks and handles, they opted not to adopt any methods or items from the modern world.

They lived ‘as if in the 18th century’, according to one report.

Two years after their discovery, three of the four children also died: Savin and Natalia suffered kidney failure and Dmitry perished from pneumonia.

Agafya’s father died in his sleep in February 1988, but despite her age and the risks to her health she continues to live permanently in her remote home.

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