Friday, Feb 23 2024
All Cities
Choose Your City
'There are restaurants in Novosibirsk that are much cooler than Western ones'

Old Believer Agafya Lykova moves into new house in the remote area of Western Sayan mountains

By 0 and 0 and 0
11 March 2021


Agafya Lykova, 76, pictured in her new house with Metropolitan Cornelius. Picture: Oleg Deripaska media team

Last night was the first time for 76-year-old Agafya to leave her father’s house, built 80 years ago when her parents fled Soviet repression and  arrived in the Siberian taiga after fleeing religious persecution of the Stalin era. 

For most of her life Afafya has has lived much as a peasant from the 18th century, with hardly any modern comforts, guided by an ancient Bible, and little contact with the outside world.

Construction of Agafya’s new home - a simple one-storey hut, as she had requested - started in December 2020, days after she asked businessman Oleg Deripaska for help. 

The new house was completed several days ago, and offers more comfort and warmth than the tumbledown shack built by her father. 

Yesterday it was blessed by Russian Orthodox Old Believer church priests, who flew specially to see Agafya from Moscow. 

Agafya Lykova

Agafya Lykova

Agafya Lykova

Agafya pictured in early 1980s, with her father Karp (left) and Krasnoyarsk professor Igor Nazarov (right), and aged 72. Pictures: Igor Nazarov, Nikolay Proletsky

‘The new house is solid, with a warm veranda and lots of natural light coming through its four windows.

'Agafya was presented with an icon by Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, Korniliy, and was grateful for a chance to have a one-to-one chat with him. She liked the new house, and to thank everyone who helped build it she baked some bread and served it with home made drinks’, said director of Khakassky Nature Reserve, Viktor Nepomnyashchiy.

The house had to be assembled in the city of Abakan, Khakassia, with logs numbered and then dismantled to shorten the building time. 

The recluse’s area is in A remote, hardly-accessible part of the Sayan mountains, so it was easier to bring the house part by part rather than to deliver building material. At least 18 air-boat shipments were made to deliver the new house. 

The recluse’s area is in A remote, hardly-accessible part of the Sayan mountains, so it was easier to bring the house part by part rather than to deliver building material

Agafya Lykova

Agafya Lykova

Agafya Lykova

Agafya Lykova
Hermit Agafya Lykova inside and in front of her new house with Russian Orthodox Old Believers priests. Pictures: Viktor Nepomnyashchiy

Agafya Lykova is the last survivor of a family of Orthodox Old Believers who in 1936 fled into the forest to escape religious persecution of Stalin's Russia.

They were discovered dozens of years later in 1978 after being spotted from the air by a group of geologists on a remote mountain side close to Erinat river in the Abakan range, south-western Siberia. 

When they were found, they had no idea World War Two had started - or ended. 

Agafya 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.

Her mother died in 1961, her father passed away in 1988.

Comments (35)

Dio benedica quella santa donna e renda merito al benefattore.
Fabrizio Giannoni, Italia
25/11/2023 19:58
Beloved of the Lord! Dear Agafia, I hope God allows you to live until His return. It is soon. You are an inspiration. God is obviously protecting you. Remain the great example that you are of humility and love for God. Big hugs!!
Else Klavins, Sheffield Tasmania Australia
05/08/2023 10:40
I just want to thank Agafya Lykova for her faith hard work and her incredible endurance that she has. Glad she was blessed with a beautiful warm home. It would be an honor to meet her! We need more people like Agafya Lykova. Thank You, Kimberly
Kimberly Sargent, Cobden illinois
21/07/2023 04:17
A saintly Christian woman. God watch over you agafia .
Eire, Ireland
27/05/2023 07:05
Bendiciones a Agafya, he leído y aprendido mucho de ella. Empecé con el libro de Vasili Peskov. Me da gusto que siga en su taiga ...
Armando Alarcón Domínguez, Chihuahua, México
23/05/2023 03:06
I wish her all the best she reminds me of my wonderful mum when I was a kid she used to do everything so hard in the very extreme temperatures - 20 washing our clothes and cooking and shopping it was all on foot there was no transport god bless all hard working ladies
George Benjamin, Australia
29/04/2023 20:04
this noble lady is the living embodiment of the Russian people. she is a national treasure and should be attended to frequently in her old age. god bless you Agafia, you are loved by people everywhere.
conrad brean, australia
29/04/2023 19:26
When I was a teeanger my granny gave me a book about the Lykows and from time to time I look for news about her and I'm really happy for her.
I wish I could tell my granny about Agafya's new home but she passed away four years ago.
Merit, German
03/01/2023 05:22
I pray for her daily. She is a Russian Treasure. She prays for everyone all the time. Truly her life is amazing and few are like her. She has endured and lives her faith. I wish her all the blessings from heaven.
Yankee Gal, USA
17/03/2022 03:12
I think of her often.
What a strong woman she inspired me.
Hope she keeps well. xx
Wendy Bailey, United Kingdom
11/12/2021 15:14
Je to úžasná, pevná žena. Bůh ji opatruj. Její víra je pevná, učím se ze všeho, co říká.

Stále tu žijí dobří lidé, kteří ji pomáhají a to je moc dobře. Vážím si takových lidí.

Laskavost, bratrství, láska. Bůh je v nás.

Přeji paní Lykové mnoho zdraví.
Olga, Česká republika
26/11/2021 17:10
I think of aghfia to see is she got her breast cust removed it was giving here such trouble, I would like to thank the man who built her a new home
Gerri Oct.11/ 2021, Canada
11/10/2021 20:50
Hello I'm from Australia, a long way from Agafya's home. I came across her odyssey by chance while browsing the internet. Her story stirred me to the core and she has become a heroine to me. It is such an unusual and emotional experience for any human that it should be made into a movie; an example to all peoples of faith, tenacity and selfconfidence. I salute you Agafya. May you live long and comfortable in your cosy new home.

Rosanna Wagner from Shellharbour on the eastern coast of beautiful Australia.
Rosanna Wagner, Shellharbour NSW Australia
22/09/2021 06:02
I think of her so often and I'm so grateful she has her new home. She is a strong lady and deserves the best. God bless her heart.
stephanie l Maxwell, United States
09/09/2021 21:20
I was truly in awe reading about this family. What an amazing woman to live such a solitary life. God Bless her !
Ann Jones, Advance,NC
10/07/2021 22:31

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy



Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory



The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies