Maria Ivanovna Shelomova, the mother of Vladimir Putin, played a significant role in shaping the life of one of the world’s most influential leaders. Born on October 17, 1911, in the village of Zarechye in the Turginovsky District of the Tver Province, Maria Ivanovna experienced a life marked by perseverance and resilience. In this article, we explore the remarkable journey of Maria Ivanovna Shelomova, her experiences during the Siege of Leningrad, and her lasting impact on her son, Vladimir Putin.
Early Life and Family
Maria Ivanovna Shelomova was born into a humble peasant family. She was the daughter of Ivan Andreevich Shelomov and Elizaveta Alekseevna Shelomova. Maria Ivanovna was one of five children, with four brothers. Unfortunately, one of her brothers, Alexey, passed away at a young age.
From an early age, Maria Ivanovna exhibited a strong resemblance to her father and inherited her mother’s resilient spirit. She had a petite stature, gray eyes, and light-colored hair. Her small hands and feet were noticeable characteristics when she first met her future husband, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin.
Marriage and Early Years
At the age of 17, Maria Ivanovna married Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin with the consent and blessings of her parents. In 1932, they moved to Petrodvorets, now known as Peterhof, a suburb of Saint Petersburg. It was during this time that they experienced the joy of becoming parents with the birth of their first son, Oleg. Tragically, Oleg passed away in infancy and was laid to rest in Peterhof.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Maria Ivanovna gave birth to their second son, Viktor. Maria’s brother, Ivan, who served in the Baltic Fleet headquarters, managed to evacuate Maria and her sons to Leningrad before the German invasion. They sought refuge with relatives on the banks of the Fontanka River.
Life During the Siege of Leningrad
Maria Ivanovna endured the unimaginable horrors of the Siege of Leningrad, a brutal 872-day blockade by German forces. She worked in a sewing workshop, where she tirelessly stitched gloves for soldiers. The blockade subjected Leningrad to starvation, and her younger son, Viktor, weakened from malnutrition, fell ill with diphtheria, and tragically passed away. Her brother, Ivan, provided her with his rations to keep her alive during this dire time.
There was a moment when Maria Ivanovna, weakened by hunger, lost consciousness, and was mistakenly believed to be deceased. She was even placed among the deceased for burial. Miraculously, she regained consciousness and moaned, saving her from being buried alive. Eventually, she was evacuated from Leningrad when the danger subsided.
Post-War Years and Vladimir’s Birth
After her husband recovered from injuries sustained during the war, Maria Ivanovna and her brother, Ivan Ivanovich Shelomov, relocated to their ancestral homeland in the Kalinin Oblast, which had been liberated from the Germans. They worked on a collective farm until late 1944 when they returned to Leningrad.
The family lived in a small communal apartment on Ryleeva Street. Maria’s brother occupied the neighboring room. In 1945, Vladimir, her second son, who would go on to become the President of Russia, was born on October 7th. The delivery took place at the V.F. Snegirev Maternity Hospital on Mayakovskogo Street.
Life in Leningrad and Beyond
Vladimir Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna, and her husband, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, faced the challenges of raising their son in post-war Leningrad. The family lived in a communal apartment on Baskov Lane, where two other families resided. The living conditions were harsh, with no hot water or bathing facilities. They relied on wood for heating during the cold winters.
Despite these challenges, Maria Ivanovna and her husband created a nurturing environment for their son. Vladimir Putin often recalls his mother’s dedication, strength, and love. She instilled in him the values of hard work, resilience, and loyalty, which have shaped his leadership style and political career.
Legacy and Remembrance
Maria Ivanovna Shelomova passed away on July 6, 1998, in Pesochny, a suburb of Saint Petersburg. She was laid to rest in the Serafimovskoe Cemetery. Her legacy lives on through her son, Vladimir Putin, who has risen to become one of the most influential figures in global politics.
Maria Ivanovna’s experiences during the Siege of Leningrad and her unwavering determination serve as a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Her story is a symbol of the resilience and courage displayed by countless individuals during one of the darkest periods in history.