Siberian couple with 22 CHILDREN reveal what it’s really like to raise such a large brood in the world’s COLDEST city – where temperatures plunge to -84°F and even waiting for the school bus can be lethal


Raising 22 children would be a challenge for the most competent of parents.

But one couple who live in the world’s coldest city in east Siberia have revealed what extra efforts are required when subzero temperatures as low as -84F are thrown into the mix.

Aleksandr and Oksana Pavlov welcomed YouTube creator Kiun B. into their home in Yakutsk, Sakha, to show what an average day looks like, with long bathroom queues, two dinner sittings and layering up in lots of warm clothing being among the daily drills.

The duo have a total of 22 children, 18 of whom are adopted, and their ages range between six and 37 years old. 

In one clip, Aleksandr explains that they initially adopted three children in May 2003 and, as their family grew, he gave up his job as an engineer to provide more support back at home.

Aleksandr and Oksana Pavlov, from Yakutsk, have a total of 22 children, with 18 of them being adopted, and their ages span between six and 37 years old

The duo welcomed YouTuber Kiun B. into their home in Yakutsk, to show what an average day looks like

The duo welcomed YouTuber Kiun B. into their home in Yakutsk, to show what an average day looks like

In one clip, Aleksandr explains that they initially adopted three children in May 2003 and as their family grew, he gave up his job as an engineer to provide more support back at home

In one clip, Aleksandr explains that they initially adopted three children in May 2003 and as their family grew, he gave up his job as an engineer to provide more support back at home

While eight of their children have since moved out and started their own families, the Pavlovs still have 14 youngsters and teenagers to look after

While eight of their children have since moved out and started their own families, the Pavlovs still have 14 youngsters and teenagers to look after

While eight of their children have since moved out and started their own families, the Pavlovs still have 14 kids to look after. 

Oksana says, as she sits by her husband’s side: ‘During holidays, we love being together and having fun with activities like cooking and playing games.

‘We feel blessed to have such a large and loving family.’

At the beginning of the short film, YouTube creator and narrator Kiun B. explains that Aleksandr ‘starts his day bright and early, heading outside to gather ice to make sure his family has enough clean drinking water.’

The patriarch can be seen hauling a clear block of ice from the yard into a utility room, where he places it into a water container to melt for drinking. 

Kium B. reveals that the family ‘face the challenge of not having access to the central water supply [and they] depend on water reserve containers to store the water needed for their daily activities.’

In the next scene, two of the Pavlovs’ youngest children Nastya and Ramina, aged 6 and 9 respectively, can be seen being woken up to go to school. 

However, because it is -48F Ramina gets the day off as her primary school ‘doesn’t work’ when it is below -45F outside, but Nastya’s nursery continues to run, so she goes about brushing her teeth and getting ready. 

As it is so cold outside, the film then cuts to show Aleksandr checking the heating system in the home ‘to ensure his family stays warm on this ice-cold morning in Yakutsk.’

The narrator continues: ‘Despite the extreme cold, Aleksandr and his family rely on two gas boilers to keep their home comfortably warm at 77F.

‘Considering the size of their 3,800-square-foot home, heating costs are quite reasonable, around $200 a month.’

By 7:40am, the entire household is awake with bathroom queues forming and Oksana steadily serves up breakfast.

One of the staple breakfast dishes is ‘traditional Yakut pancakes’ as they are ‘a high-energy food,’ and these are served with a homemade blueberry jam. 

At the beginning of the short film, YouTube creator and narrator Kiun B. explains that Aleksandr 'starts his day bright and early, heading outside to gather ice'

At the beginning of the short film, YouTube creator and narrator Kiun B. explains that Aleksandr ‘starts his day bright and early, heading outside to gather ice’

The patriarch can be seen hauling a clear block of ice from the yard into a utility room, where he places it into a water container to melt for drinking

The patriarch can be seen hauling a clear block of ice from the yard into a utility room, where he places it into a water container to melt for drinking

The narrator says: 'Despite the extreme cold, Aleksandr and his family rely on two gas boilers to keep their home comfortably warm at 77F'

The narrator says: ‘Despite the extreme cold, Aleksandr and his family rely on two gas boilers to keep their home comfortably warm at 77F’

By 7:40 a.m., the entire household is awake with bathroom queues forming and Oksana steadily serves up breakfast

By 7:40 a.m., the entire household is awake with bathroom queues forming and Oksana steadily serves up breakfast

Luckily, the Pavlov family live right next to a school and the nursery is just a five-minute walk away

Luckily, the Pavlov family live right next to a school and the nursery is just a five-minute walk away

As space is limited in the home, the Pavlovs have two sittings each meal time, with the youngest eating first.  

After a hearty breakfast, the children peel off and head to school. 

In one scene, Oksana can be seen dressing one of her children in down dungarees and the narrator explains that ‘from a young age, locals understand the importance of dressing appropriately to brave the harsh winters.’

‘They wear insulated trousers and special winter jackets designed for extreme weather,’ she said.

Luckily, the Pavlov family live right next to a school and the nursery is just a five-minute walk away.

Aleksandr and Oksana chose the location of their house with their kids’ safety in mind, making sure they don’t have to walk too far outside in the extreme weather. 

The narrator reveals that ‘older siblings look after the younger ones, ensuring they reach the nursery and school first to prevent them from freezing.’

In one scene, four of the older Pavlov children can be seen huddled together as they wait for a bus to take them to a university in the city center.

The voiceover says that the ‘situation could quickly become dangerous, and with no bus in sight, they must rush back home or try to stop a passing car to avoid frostbite.’

Luckily the bus arrives in a matter of minutes. As seen in the film, the buses are painted red to make them easier to spot in thick fog or snow.

In another scene, some of the Pavlov children can be seen braving the cold weather to play outdoors and when they get too cold, they head back indoors.

To keep their children entertained inside, Aleksandr and Oksana built their brood an indoor gym.

One of the staple breakfast dishes is 'traditional Yakut pancakes' as they are 'a high-energy food,' and these are served with a homemade blueberry jam

One of the staple breakfast dishes is ‘traditional Yakut pancakes’ as they are ‘a high-energy food,’ and these are served with a homemade blueberry jam

Many viewers have praised the couple for their dedication to parenthood

Many viewers have praised the couple for their dedication to parenthood

While the environment might seem tough to many, Aleksandr says in the film that he believes the cold weather 'makes us resilient and hardworking'

While the environment might seem tough to many, Aleksandr says in the film that he believes the cold weather ‘makes us resilient and hardworking’

In another scene, some of the Pavlov children can be seen braving the cold weather to play outdoors and when they get too cold, they head back indoors

In another scene, some of the Pavlov children can be seen braving the cold weather to play outdoors and when they get too cold, they head back indoors

As seen in the film, the buses are painted red to make them easier to spot in thick fog or snow

As seen in the film, the buses are painted red to make them easier to spot in thick fog or snow

To keep their children entertained inside, Aleksandr and Oksana built their brood an indoor gym

To keep their children entertained inside, Aleksandr and Oksana built their brood an indoor gym

At the end of the day, Aleksandr goes about making a BBQ for dinner and he notes that the foal meat he uses to make skewers ‘cooks very fast.’

Meanwhile, Oksana makes some fish and traditional fried pies filled with meat and rice back in the warmth of the kitchen.

The narrator notes that ‘unlike other regions, vegetables are very expensive and rare in Yakutsk due to the challenging growing conditions.’

‘Fruits are also rare in the traditional Yakut diet. Instead, people often consume frozen berries, which are preserved and can be stored for long periods,’ she said.

Another key feature of the Yakut diet is soup, and the narrator reveals that locals eat it everyday as it ‘not only fills their bellies but also warms their souls during the cold winter days.’

While the environment might seem tough to many, Aleksandr says in the film that he believes the cold weather ‘makes us resilient and hardworking.’

He says the most important thing is to ‘stay active,’ as this will help you to ‘stay strong and maintain good health to survive the harsh winter days.’

Meanwhile, when it comes to navigating having such a large family, the film demonstrates how ‘establishing routines and delegating tasks is essential.’

Aleksandr and Oksana receive government support for their monthly expenses, which they use to provide food and clothing for all of their children.

Many viewers have praised the couple for their dedication to parenthood.

One commenter wrote: ‘Some people are mostly occupied with themselves. But those lovely parents are focus only on their children.

‘Such a beautiful example for the kids. Big thanks for this heart warming documentary.’

Another viewer said: ‘Absolutely incredible. Beautiful family, selfless parents who are raising so many children who needed a home. Such harsh conditions, yet they continue to thrive! Thumbs up!’



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