“It was God’s will -- I did nothing to make it happen," she explained. "I see people going in for sports, eating something special, keeping themselves fit, but I have no idea how I lived until now.” As to why it's God's will, Istambulova has a theory: “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me -- but a punishment.”
The Sun points out that if these claims are true, Istambulova would've been 55 when World War II ended. But there is some reason to doubt them. For one, if her age is accurate she'd be six years older than the person previously considered the oldest human ever. The Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, which is making the claim, cites her internal passport, which shows her birthdate as June 1, 1889. But all of Istambulova's documents were reportedly lost during the early 2000s in the Second Chechen War, which makes her age impossible to verify with birth records.