24 January 2013, 10:18
Religious hermit living in Siberian taiga gets medal
Kemerovo, January 24, Interfax - An elderly Old Believer who has lived alone in the Siberian taiga since 1988 has been awarded a medal by a district administration.
Officials from the administration of Tashtagol in the Kemerovo region delivered the "For Faith and Good Works" medal to Agafya Lykova by helicopter. They also brought food, including flour and fruit, to the hermit, the only survivor of an Old Believer family who moved into the taiga in 1937 and apparently had no contact with the rest of the world until 1978.
Lykova "feels quite well," an administration official told Interfax. She asked her visitors to thank Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev for the medal and help.
"She also asked for some squash and onion seeds, fabric for sewing clothes and several animals for her farm to be brought to her in the spring if any cargo is going to be delivered to her then," the official said.
Lykova had a he-goat who has died, and the hermit asked for another one, for two milch goats, and for a rooster because the one she has now "doesn't crow at all," the official said.
As before, Lykova is waiting for a helper from among Old Believers, according to the official.
The same day, a "70 Years of the Kemerovo Region" medal was handed to geologist Yerofey Sedov, who was the first to tell the world about the Lykov family and whose home is several kilometers from Agafya's.
The Lykov family set up home deep in the taiga in 1937, seeking to avoid all non-Old Believer influences, and apparently had no contact with the outside world until Sedov came across them by chance in 1978.
There were five people in the family when the geologist discovered them - the father, Karp Osipovich, his sons Savvin and Dmitry, ages 45 and 36 respectively, and daughters Natalya and Agafya, ages 42 and 34.
Savvin, Dmitry and Natalya died in 1981, and Karp died in 1988.