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

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 March 2021

World's most famous hermit shows off her new wooden hut from billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

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 (24)

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
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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
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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
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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
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Yay!! I love any news about this great lady...but it's very welcome to hear she is still doing well and is in comfort. I love how the construction started immediately. All she had to do was ask and her friends took care of her. She's my favorite Russian citizen - they ate so lucky to have her.
KN, Connecticut, USA
07/07/2021 07:32
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The new house looks great I hope that the house keeps her warm there in winter my prayers go out to her and hope health keeps good and god protects get out there
Lavinia pomare, New zealand
18/06/2021 02:35
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My family exiled during the revolution. Kennedy brought my family here by plane from turkey in may of 1963. We are orthodox Russian. I have lykov in my family tree. I believe Agafya has my dna matched.

Callavinna , Oregon usa
16/05/2021 01:46
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I believe am related to her by dna but I’m having a hard time finding more info on her. But I have lyrics in my family tree.
Callavinna , Oregon usa
16/05/2021 01:42
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Precious!
Lawrence Yapell, Powdersville, sc. USA
15/05/2021 08:17
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I am so happy that Oleg Deripaska had a kind enough heart to build her a house. I pray that it is insulated with the best insulation available and the wood is not treated with chemicals that could be harmful to her, since she has not immunity to much in the outside world. I pray that it brings her much comfort. I try to follow everything that concerns her and I wish there were something I could contribute to help her.
Phyllis, United States
22/04/2021 05:25
6
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Can she get a washer and dryer and a new set of clothing for all seasons.
Could we have some sort of help blog where donations ACTUALLY went to buying these necessities...... like the Red Cross or something better as I have heard some very discouraging reports about the Red Cross.
Carrie Adams , Ocean springs Mississippi USA
06/04/2021 04:09
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3
Well let’s get immediate help for the lump situation she describes on her breast and she may live quite a bit l0nger!
Carrie Adams, Ocean springs Mississippi USA
06/04/2021 04:06
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That is EXACTLY the kind of house I have been looking for!
Pumpkin, Estonia
04/04/2021 14:10
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A splendid, inspiring woman. May she live well.
Michael Grace, England
16/03/2021 08:21
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1
Her face looks so kind.Her hands look like they have done a lot of work.Evan in the young picture.
Very nice of someone to help an old lady out who has lived off the land all her life.
James, Alaska
16/03/2021 05:22
8
0
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