Family of Siberian hermits lived outside civilization 40 yrs, hadn’t heard of WWII

Fascinating, and sad, story of a family of ultra-religious Russians who moved to the Siberian wilderness, 160 miles from the nearest town, and for 40 years had no contact with anyone on the outside. They were discovered by Russian geologists in 1978.


As you can imagine, their existence was as bit tougher than Grizzly Adams’. In 1961, because food was so scarce, the mother starved herself to death in order to feed her kids. And three of the kids died, within weeks of each other, likely because of pneumonia brought by visiting geologists. The father died in 1988. Now, the only family member left is 70 year old Agafia, who still lives by herself. This documentary looks at her and her life. The film crew fly out by helicopter to live with her for a few days. That would be cool.

This is part 1. You can find the rest via theĀ YouTube page.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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21 Responses to “Family of Siberian hermits lived outside civilization 40 yrs, hadn’t heard of WWII”

  1. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Why were they fleeing from a man who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries?

  2. swamp thing says:

    They fled Peter the great. They were old believers. Sorry to put a kink in your Stalin boner.

  3. karmanot says:

    Yep, it could just as easily been Kansas.

  4. karmanot says:

    Oh the irony……..:-)

  5. karmanot says:

    Only in America

  6. karmanot says:

    Or more likely the eremitic impulses of religious and spiritual life choices.

  7. karmanot says:

    But, I doubt that isolation prevented the Lillian Vernon Catalog from arriving every three months on time.

  8. karmanot says:


  9. samizdat says:

    “…visiting geologists.” No doubt, looking for oil, or diamonds, or who knows what else.

    I still can’t get my head around how greatly their fear drives humans to these extremes. To be so afraid of the modern physical world, modern life, that they would be compelled to flee into the wilderness, and forget the outside world entirely. We all have our occasional irrational fears, but we acknowledge them as such, and move on, dealing with them again when they periodically drift in from some darker corner of our inscrutable yet amazing human brain.

    But this? I literally cannot imagine how fear-struck the parents must have been. Not necessarily with Stalinist machinations, but with life itself.

  10. Naja pallida says:

    Didn’t M. Night Shyamalan write the story?

  11. Naja pallida says:

    Well, they don’t take American Express. =)

  12. nicho says:

    They were religious fundamentalists who fled modern society.

  13. HolyMoly says:

    Reminds me of the movie “Blast from the Past” (Brendan Frasier, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walkin).

    The thought has crossed my mind from time to time about building a cabin in the middle of nowhere to get away from it all. But, alas, WalMart wouldn’t be far behind.

  14. HolyMoly says:

    It’s new to me :-)

  15. Phil says:

    The older I get, the more living as a hermit sounds like the thing to do. Do they require visas to live in Siberia?????

  16. I know, she made some comments about evil science taking over.

  17. And even if it’s “old,” if it’s not news that needs to timely, or its out of date, we post stuff like this anyway instead of hard news on weekends, etc. It’s a new occasional distraction from the nasty stuff.

  18. FLL says:

    Would anybody like to comment on why this woman’s family fled from Stalin’s dictatorship in the 1930s?

  19. FLL says:

    A few months ago is not exactly “old.”

  20. FrozenNorthObserver says:

    This is a old story that came out a few months ago.

  21. jomicur says:

    Siberia? Not Tennessee?

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