Dzhuna, Kremlin psychic healer, dies at 6509 june 2015, 12:09
Dzhuna, a famed mystic healer and astrologer who is said to have treated Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Russian celebrities, died on Monday at 65, her friends said, AFP reports.
"Dzhuna died on Monday morning," Andrei Malakhov, the host of a prime-time chat show on Channel One state television, told AFP.
Dzhuna's death led the news broadcasts on state channels, reflecting her enormous fame in the chaotic years after the breakup of the USSR when psychics and astrologers enjoyed a wave of new-found popularity.
"Some called her a charlatan, some called her a saviour," said the state RIA Novosti news agency.
Dzhuna, whose real name was Yevgenia Davitashvili, "was the secret healer of the Kremlin, she was a female version of Rasputin in the 1980s," Igor Matviyenko, a top pop producer, told AFP, adding that he was married to her "for a month" in the 1980s.
Davitashvili came from the small ethnic group of Assyrian Christians and played up her striking dark-haired looks, calling herself "the Assyrian princess".
She was born in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar to an Iranian father and Cossack mother. After training as a nurse, she began using hand movements to heal patients.
In Moscow she worked at a state planning institution and began healing celebrities including singer Vladimir Vysotsky.
Film greats including Federico Fellini and Andrei Tarkovsky also reportedly sought her help.
'The Politburo came to our wedding'
Dzhuna gave consultations to Brezhnev, who died in 1982, and to Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet top diplomat between 1985 and 1991, Matviyenko said, adding that she "never divulged" what went on during the consultations.
Kremlin limos used to drive up to her Moscow apartment, which became a kind of fashionable salon where "Kremlin leaders and artists rubbed shoulders," said Matviyenko, who was a rock musician 11 years her junior.
"Almost all the Politburo came to our wedding in central Moscow," he said, adding that she once healed him "with one finger" when he had a knee injury from football.
The healer, who also wrote poetry and painted, founded an institution called the International Academy of Alternative Sciences in 1990.
She only became a widely known public figure after the fall of the Soviet Union, making frequent media appearances.
In 1994, Russia's first post-Soviet president Boris Yeltsin awarded her with a medal.
A TV drama series based on her life was broadcast earlier this year.
She said she usually accepted patients suffering from serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or late stages of cancer.
After her son died in a car accident in 2001, she became reclusive and rarely appeared in public.
She died after slipping into a coma following circulation problems.
Friends said she had never recovered from the loss of her son.
"Her energy had left her, she could no longer practise medicine," actor Stanislav Sadalsky wrote on his blog.
She is believed to have predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union and the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
She also predicted that "nothing will happen to Russia" in Moscow's current confrontation with the West over Ukraine.
"No one would dare touch Russia," Dzhuna told NTV in comments broadcast last year.