Magomed Labazanov was born in 1890, but his family were unable to enter him in the Guinness Book of World Records because he had no birth certificate or documentation to prove his age. Possibly this was due to the widespread destruction of church and mosque records during Soviet times.

The secret of Labazanov’s old age, which he revealed four years ago, was was ‘abstaining from alcohol, tobacco – and women.’

Despite this he was twice married, divorcing his first wife because she could not have children.

An illiterate former sawmill worker, he said that a ‘proper diet’ of fruits, dairy products, corn, whey, fruits, vegetables and wild garlic – ‘the true nourishment for centenarians’ – was also a reason for his long life.

He celebrated his 118th birthday by dancing the Lezginka, a popular Caucasus folk dance.

Born before last tsar Nicholas the Second took the throne, he was 27 when Lenin seized power in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, it is claimed. Labazanov lived in Dagestan in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, an area famed for people surviving to great ages.

He had 18 grandchildren and more than 20 great great grandsons and outlived three of his four sons.

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