Cristiano Ronaldo's model girlfriend has flown to Russia to see 89-year-old
War heroine Galina Shaykhlislamova is believed to have fallen into a coma
Shayk is 'spending days by her grandmother's bed, praying for her health'
Mrs Shaykhlislamova made maps pinpointing Nazi locations for Red Army
Published: 09:18 EST, 4 December 2013 | Updated: 09:37 EST, 4 December 2013>
The supermodel girlfriend of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Russia to hold a bedside vigil for her 89-year-old grandmother who she sees as her role model and inspiration.
While Irina Shayk is well known for conquering the fashion world, her grandmother has the medals to prove her own success as an intelligence agent in Stalin's Red Army.
Galina Shaykhlislamova - Irina's real family name - was highly decorated for her role making maps on the frontline that pinpointed Nazi locations to help the Russians beat back Hitler at the climax of the Second World War.
'My angel, my love': Supermodel Irina Shayk (right) returned to her native Russia to be with her 89-year-old grandmother Galina Shaykhlislamova (left)
'The most important thing in life is your relatives and loved ones': Shayk had recently uploaded a series of pictures and messages online expressing her admiration for Mrs Shaykhlislamova who has died
Russian reports say Shayk, 27, flew to be at the bedside of her grandmother - who she called 'my angel, my love' - now believed to be in a coma.
'It is the latest of several visits by Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, to be close to her granny Galina Shaykhlislamova whose health has sadly deteriorated,' reported The Siberian Times.
Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported that Shayk was in industrial Sibay, in the Republic of Bashkortostan near Siberia 'spending days by her grandmother's bed, praying for her health.'
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Her online postings recently have expressed her love and admiration for Mrs Shaykhlislamova amid concern over the health.
Her babushka (grandmother) was an important figure, helping to raise her, in her childhood before she found fame and fortune abroad.
On November 20, Irina posted a message reading: 'Today is a very special day for me! Its a bday of my grandma, my role model my angel my love! I love u very much! And praying for u to get better soon! happy 89bday'.
Heroine: Shaykhlislamova with her many medals which she was awarded for her role as an intelligence agent in Stalin's Red Army when they pushed back the Nazis at the climax of the Second World War
Eight days later, she posted a picture of her grandmother explaining that Galina was 'a photolab assistant at 2nd Belorussian front, and a junior sergeant of the secret air regiment in Trans-Baikal', the base of which was in Siberia.
'So proud of my granny!!! we r all praying for your health! Junior sergeant of secret air regiment!'
Earlier, on November 1, she highlighted a picture of herself with her granny, saying in Russian - 'samoe glavnoe v gizni eto vashi blizkie u lybimie' - the most important thing in life is your relatives and loved ones'.
On the same day: 'All my prays goes to my grandmother who is sick. God will look after her and I hope she gets better! I love u and send u all my love.'
Back in the summer, when her grandmother was healthier, she posted a picture of the pancakes the war veteran had cooked her.
Highly decorated: Mrs Shaykhlislamova was awarded the Zhukov medal for service in the Second World War and later collected many jubilee medals commemorating the achievements of Russian forces
'I am so proud of her. She is making my favourite oladushki in the morning. How blissfully happy I am to have the best grandmothers in the world', she wrote.
'The lives of granddaughter and grandmother could scarcely be more different: at the same age as Irina when she began wowing the West, Galina had begged to be enlisted, and was deployed as an intelligence agent by Stalin on the frontline of the Red Army's surge through eastern Europe, her role to pinpoint key Nazi troops and strategic targets for the air force to bomb or the army to rout,' revealed The Siberian Times.
Mrs Shaykhlislamova recalled in an interview last year: 'I was 18 and training to be a teacher when I first asked to join up.
'My father was reported as missing in Leningrad - later we learned he had died - and at first they refused, saying I should study at the Air Force Academy. So I started studying and eventually joined the front in 1944.'
It was no ordinary training.
'It was the military and aviation school of the intelligence services,' said Natalya Kodakova, author of a book on wartime heroes which features Galina.
'When she graduated with honours in 1944 she was sent to the front as part of the intelligence department.'
Today, Shayk's grandmother lives in a modest one room flat in an unremarkable Soviet-era block in Sibay, a copper and zinc quarrying town.
A family friend said she is 'a great role model for Irina, showing that by sheer hard work at a young age you can do whatever you want', and the supermodel frequently phones her from her jet-setting trips around the globe.
Galina's achievements were in a different sphere to her granddaughter, yet were at the time unquestionably far more important.
When she reached Romania in the war she was a spy who was still in her teens.
Vigil: Shayk was in industrial Sibay, in the Republic of Bashkortostan near Siberia 'spending days by her grandmother's bed, praying for her health'
Her task was to make maps from pictures taken by reconnaissance aircraft, pin pointing 'the spots with Fascist troops and machines' so they could be destroyed, she said.
'We drove along war devastated roads in a special car equipped as a laboratory, and were under frequent bombardment. There were three girls and a driver, though sometimes I drove the car myself.
'We developed and reconstructed the films, decrypted them, made maps and sent them to headquarters. Some days were so busy we didn't leave our car at all.'
The war took her through Bucharest, Budapest and on to Vienna.
'This is a picture of me when I was 20' - she says, pointing to a portrait on her wall, close to a photograph of Irina.
'Putting on make-up? No way. I was ecstatically happy to be able to wash my face in an ice hole, in freezing water. But still, the war or no war, we were girls and we tried to be beautiful'
Galina Shaykhlislamova on her experience of World War Two
'I'd already seen the horrors of war by then, travelling through these east European countries.
'Everybody feared they would die in the next minute or the next day. That's how it was.'
Speaking last year, she was modest about her own bravery and insisted that if the dice of history had rolled differently, her granddaughter would have shown as much courage.
'You know, I think Irina would cope with such a task if that was what was thrown at her - she's a courageous girl.'
She paused and chuckled.
'I wore a military shirt and a unformed skirt or trousers. She wears other clothes.
'She has long hair, but I had to have a short cut because of conditions in the war, it was easier to handle, and we were doing everything on the go.
'Putting on make-up? No way. I was ecstatically happy to be able to wash my face in an ice hole, in freezing water.
'But still, the war or no war, we were girls and we tried to be beautiful.'
She was in the Austrian capital when she thought the end had come.
Family: Mrs Shaykhlislamova (left) made maps from pictures taken by reconnaissance aircraft, pinpointing the locations of Nazi troops. Shayk's father (right) died nine years ago after an incident in a Urals gold mine
Changing times: Today, Shayk's grandmother lives in a modest one-room flat in an unremarkable Soviet-era block (above) in Sibay, a copper and zinc quarrying town
'I remember how I was woken one night by such intense gunfire that I felt the Germans had breached our lines.
'But it turned out it was our soldiers firing into the air and shouting ecstatically 'Victory! Victory!' It was 9 May 1945. The war was over.'
Galina remembers the happy faces of those they liberated, though in fact the liberation rapidly turned for many into a new oppression as the Iron Curtain split the continent.
Irina's babushka saw things differently, like many who fought for the Soviet forces.
Her old flat was on Lenin Street and there she kept on her wall a signed edict by Stalin praising the forces that defeated the Nazis.
She was awarded the Zhukov medal for service in the Second World War, and later collected many jubilee medals commemorating the achievements of Russian forces.
Until recent years, she was a regular at annual remembrance parades for war veterans.
After the war, she was sent for three years with her new husband to a highly secretive Soviet military base in Communist East Germany, a period she always declined to speak about.
Close: Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with his girlfriend Irina Shayk during the Globe Soccer Awards ceremony in Dubai, UAE, in December 2011
International star: Shayk poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the screening of the film All Is Lost at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes in May
Later she worked in both the petroleum and agricultural industries.
Her own marriage failed soon after the birth of Irina's father Valery - who died nine years ago after an incident in a Urals gold mine in Yemanzhelinsk, where Irina was born on Orthodox Christmas Eve in 1986.
'To Irina, her babushka remains her connection to the Tatar father who did not live to see her remarkable fame and fortune, but from whom she inherited her striking looks,' reported The Siberian Times.
'My father was dark skinned, because he was Tatar, sometimes Tatars can look Brazilian,' she once said. 'I get my light eyes from my mother - called Olga, a pianist who was a music teacher at a kindergarten.'
Russian journalists say she deployed all her old intelligence skills in discussing Ronaldo's role in Irina's life, evidently fearing that too much media scrutiny can strain their intercontinental relationship.
But she admitted last year that Irina had brought pictures of her partner and discussed him with her.
Galina confided to a friend: 'She told us a lot a lot about him, that he is a dignified person who measures up to Irina. So we have permitted her to marry him when the time is right.'
She also spoke with admiration for her granddaughter's achievements, denying she was upset that she saw her so seldom.
'Let her live the way she wants to. What may I tell her? 'Come and live here in Sibay? She won't come,' she said.
'Or should I say: 'Go to Chelyabinsk (the nearest big industrial city)? She has nothing to do there, there's no job for her. No, she's in the right place with her mother in New York.'
She also disclosed that she refused offers of money to improve her comfort in old age, telling her granddaughter that her war veteran's pension was plenty for her.
'I don't need it. You do need it, you're young. You need to enjoy your life,' she told her.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2518068/Irina-Shayks-bedside-vigil-seriously-ill-grandmother-worked-spy-Nazis-World-War-II.html