June 24, 2019: A man claimed to be the oldest in the world has died allegedly aged 123. Appaz Iliev, a father of eight, had been working since he was seven, when he was sent into the hills alone.
He fought for the Red Army in the Russian Civil War 1917-22, it is claimed. But at the age of 45 he was deemed too old to fight in the Second World War and instead became a tractor driver. We’ve got bad news if you want to emulate his longevity, though. It is all down to squeaky clean living, and sleeping 11 hours a day. So if you have a job or young children, you may struggle to get in the hours, at least for now.
Appaz was also deported by Stalin in 1944, along with other ethnic Ingush people to Kazakstan where he lived in abject poverty in internal exile. If his age was correct – and his birth records do not survive – he would have been older than than the officially verified longest-living man – Jiroemon Kimura of Japan – who died at 116 years, 54 days. He shunned television and never smoked nor drank alcohol, and kept away from doctors and medication as much as possible although at the age of 121 he underwent eye surgery because of a cataract. He ate only eat only fresh vegetables from his own garden, and local meat in his remote village of Guli in the Russian Caucasus Mountains.
He drank dairy milk and fresh spring water. The head of Ingushetia republic, Yunus-Bek Evkurov, posted: ‘Appaz lived through epochs and generations, raising eight children. ‘He had 35 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren. ‘He remained a kind and loving old man who loved this life.’ Before passing away, he is said to have advised his large family: ‘Value what you have and share it with others’.