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Supermodel Irina Shayk grieves the death of her Siberian grandmother who died at 89

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 December 2013

A wartime spy who helped defeat the Nazis, she was an inspiration for the Russian beauty and fashion icon.

The lives of granddaughter and grandmother could scarcely be more different: at the same age as Irina when she began wowing the West, Galina had begged to be enlisted, and was deployed as an intelligence agent on the frontline of the Red Army's surge through eastern Europe. Picture: Irina Shayk's Instagram

A touching message from Irina, 27, for her babushka Galiya Shaykhlislamova reads: 'Rest in Peace my love. You will forever stay in our memory as cheerful, kind, caring - one who loved this life. We love you and we are proud of you. Only a strong woman like you could have volunteered to go aged 19 to defend our motherland. We will love and remember you forever. You are our example to follow, strong and brave.'

The supermodel - girlfriend of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo -  had flown to see her grandmother as her health deteriorated, and expressed her admiration for a woman she saw as her role model.

Irina was partly raised by the war veteran who lived in Sibay in the Republic of Bashkortostan, and had been a 'junior sergeant of the secret air regiment in Trans-Baikal', in Siberia. Her grandmother's amazing story was highlighted by The Siberian Times in August 2012

Supermodel Irina Shayk grieves the death of her Siberian grandmother who died at 89


Supermodel Irina Shayk grieves the death of her Siberian grandmother who died at 89

In a series of heartfelt messages, Irina saluted her grandmother - 'my role model, my angel' - who served in wartime military intelligence. She posted a picture of her grandmother explaining that Galina was 'a photolab assistant at 2nd Belorussian front, and a  junior sergeant of the secret air regiment in Trans-Baikal', in Siberia. Pictures: The Siberian Times 

As we wrote, the lives of granddaughter and grandmother could scarcely be more different: at the same age as Irina when she began wowing the West, Galina had begged to be enlisted, and was deployed as an intelligence agent by Stalin on the frontline of the Red Army's surge through eastern Europe, her role to pinpoint key Nazi troop and strategic targets for the air force to bomb or the army to rout.

'I was 18 and training to be a teacher when I first asked to join up,' she recalled. 'My father was reported as missing in Leningrad - later we learned he had died - and at first they refused, saying I should study at the Air Force Academy. So I started studying and eventually joined the front in 1944.'

This was no ordinary training. 'It was the military and aviation school of the intelligence services,' said Natalya Kodakova, author of a book on wartime heroes which features Galina. 'When she graduated with honours  in 1944 she was sent to the front as part of the intelligence department.'

In a series of heartfelt messages, Irina saluted her grandmother - 'my role model, my angel' - who served in wartime military intelligence. She posted a picture of her grandmother explaining that Galina was 'a photolab assistant at 2nd Belorussian front, and a  junior sergeant of the secret air regiment in Trans-Baikal', in Siberia. 

'So proud of my granny!!!we r all praying for your health! junior sergeant of secret air regiment!'

Earlier, on 1 November, she highlighted a picture of herself with her granny saying in Russian -  'samoe glavnoe v gizni eto vashi blizkie u lybimie' - the most important thing in life is your relatives and loved ones'.

Comments (3)

Sorry about your grandma, may she rest in peace, but life must go on, Irina.


Try to be this Xmas with friend, family & people you love.
felix fernandez de castro garteiz, palma de mallorca spain
24/12/2013 02:02
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Rest in peace, Galina Shaykhlislamova. You are a hero and an inspiration.
Jeffrey McFadden, USA
23/12/2013 23:01
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A very brave lady ,not many are left now.I just hope current Govts are making sure that these people are retiring in dignity,are warm ,safe ,and cared for. It's the Govt turn to give them what they gave you all in the past, A Russian homeland ruled by Russians for Russians . I'm sure there are many thanks and appreciations for your past brave deeds by all young russians everywhere , Thanks Galina from all the foreigners who know the huge sacrifices Russian people contributed to defeating a Nation whose people only listened but refused to see. GO IN PEACE . Patrick
Patrick Travers, Perth Australia
23/12/2013 09:19
3
0
1

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